laynie brown on feeling discontent

Found this written on a scrap piece of paper in an old box of mine.

I know what gives satisfaction. I know what brings delight. I know the key to finding happiness. And still, I search. I search for love and acceptance and purpose in my circumstances and possessions thinking they will bring me joy. If I could buy that dress, if I only wore that size, if I could live in that place...that's where I would find true contentment. These lies are present everyday and unless they are suppressed my mind and heart believes them. This is when the gospel enters. The truths and facts of the gospel are all I need to live on. I want an earthly, temporal solution when what my heart yearns for is a spiritual, eternal solution that only God is able to provide. I have a "God sized" hole in my heart and only He is able to fill it. In my foolishness I believe that even though God's word has always been the answer before, I can find my own answers in myself and in the world. You realize just how discontent you are when what you always wanted isn't good enough anymore and even when your wishes are granted you have larger requests still yet.


Why I consumed vanilla cupcakes instead of alcohol on my 21st birthday.

Source: Pinterest

So I bet after reading the title you are all thinking, "great, another blog post about why drinking alcohol is sinful...I have already seen so many people share posts like this." So before you stop reading, I am going to let you know that this is not what this post is about. I am actually here to tell you that drinking alcohol is not sinful, but I am still choosing not to drink it.

I was reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis the other night and a chapter on Christian virtues came up. One of the main virtues of a Christian is temperance. Instead of trying to explain it myself I will let Mr. Lewis take the floor.

"Temperance referred not specially to drink, but to all pleasures; and it meant not abstaining, but going the right length and no further...An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons-- marriage, or meat, or beer, or the cinema; but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who do use them, he has taken the wrong turning."

I found this interesting because usually when we think of temperance we automatically think of it in terms of alcohol, but for the Christian it goes much further. One of the fruits of the Spirits is self-control. We are to be self-controlled, temperate people in all things. In my opinion, a man who drinks a glass of wine at dinner may be much more Christlike than a woman who abstains from alcohol but spends all of her time shopping. He may just as well not be, but my point is it's the heart we need to be concerned about and not necessarily a specific thing. Someone who drinks alcohol but is self-controlled in that and all other areas of life is following Christ much better than someone who refuses to drink alcohol but is not self-controlled in speech, eating, and spending. 

So I don't have a problem with Christians drinking alcohol necessarily, but what I do have a problem with is how some flaunt/pursue it. If you made a decision to drink alcohol then so be it, but if that is all you post about and talk about then we have a problem because what you constantly talk/post about shows what you value most. But it doesn't just stop with alcohol, it goes for the girls constantly posting selfies, the boys constantly talking about sports, the women constantly scrolling Pinterest, the men constantly posting pictures in the gym...if we profess to be Christians and these are the things that make up the majority of our social media and conversations, then we need to reevaluate some things. 

So after saying I don't think drinking alcohol is sinful, why have I chosen not to drink it? Well first of all, I think there is a lot of wisdom in not drinking alcohol. I have seen alcohol abused and the affects it has on peoples lives and I don't want to even put myself in a situation where that would be a possibility. Secondly, I don't see a purpose in drinking it, nor do I have any desire to do so. Thirdly, I have a lot of things currently in my life that I need to improve being temperate or self-controlled in (Instagram, my speech, shopping, watching tv...) so why add another thing to my list. 

Choosing to drink alcohol requires a lot of responsibility in the way you drink it, in the way you present yourself, in the way you interact with other believers, in the way you interact with those trying to overcome addiction, and so on. Those of you who drink alcohol and do it in a way honoring to God, I commend you. But sadly, I have seen too many "Christians" use the "it doesn't say you can't in the Bible" excuse to use alcohol how they want and it is very concerning. I challenge all of you to think of things in terms of "what is right with this? how does this benefit me or others? and how does this fulfill God's mission?" when trying to decide whether or not you should partake in or do something.