Liberty and Responsibility

by Greg Laurie on Oct 16, 2018
But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.

I could almost say that I’m an expert on drunk people. That sounds strange for a pastor to say, but let me explain. I spent the first seventeen years of my life around raging alcoholics. Every night my mother drank and basically passed out. I saw her friends and the effects that alcohol had on them and the subsequent wreckage of their lives. I’ve seen what alcohol does.

Some Christians say they have the liberty to drink. But with that liberty they also must be very careful. There are believers who have come out of an alcoholic background. What if a brand-new Christian who has been gloriously freed from alcoholism sees another believer having a drink? What if they rationalize that it’s okay to have a drink—and then they fall into that lifestyle again?

As believers, we’re all interconnected. The Bible says, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13 NKJV).

Here’s a profound insight: If you don’t drink, you will never get drunk. But if you drink, you could get drunk. Proverbs 23 has this to say about alcohol: “At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things” (verses 32–33 NKJV).

The Bible says, “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts” (Ephesians 5:18–19 NLT). I would rather be under the power of the Holy Spirit than the spirits. I have never seen a single good thing that has come from drinking.

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