Tag Archives: young and stupid

Blame it on the Alcohol

Alcohol is bad!

Except, ok—it’s not.  It’s actually inherently good.  Even Jesus was a fan.  We see him drinking wine as part of the Jewish feasts and even performing a miracle transforming water into wine at a wedding (taking “open-bar” to a whole new level).  There’s no basis anywhere in Scripture for a Christian to say that God is against people enjoying alcohol.

That being said: there are many places in Scripture that condemn drunkenness.

Unfortunately, the reality for our age group is that knowing that getting drunk is “a sin” is not usually enough to keep most of us from putting ourselves into situations that tend towards drunkenness, i.e. – that party on Saturday night,  “Thirsty Thursdays,” or sneaking out into the woods to drink if your college has a dry campus.  These are just things people our age do—and God understands, right?  For the most part, we’re not hurting anyone by getting more than a little bit tipsy, or even a little bit drunk, when out with our friends.

So then why is getting drunk “wrong,” if we’re just having fun?

The fact of the matter is: if you’re getting drunk and somehow don’t end up doing anything [else] “wrong,” there is very little separating you from the girl who wakes up with a tattoo the next morning besides chance.

When you choose to get drunk, you choose to reject your ability to reason.  And, in a nutshell, this is why it is a sin.  God gave us our intellect, our judgment, and the ability to control our desires.  Alcohol in excess removes this God-given power, slowly but surely.  A creature that lacks the ability to speak clearly, control his tongue, or even stand erect sounds more like an animal without motor skills than a man with the power of intellect and will.  And even though you might have that friend at the party that you have hired to take care of you, it’s not supposed to be anyone else’s responsibility to make your decisions for you.

When you get tipsy, that’s a good indicator that you need to stop.  If you’ve lost the ability to converse with God, you’ve had too much.

Besides, even if you may not wake up the next morning with a stranger in your bed, or you may be able to miraculously avoid bad decisions when you’re trashed, that doesn’t mean your friends or other people at the party are so lucky.

I’m not saying we should all quit drinking because other people have problems handling their alcohol intake.  I’m saying that we should stop letting it be “normal” behavior to get wasted and blackout on a regular basis (or ever).  It’s not normal behavior.  In fact it’s a sign you have a problem (contrary to popular belief: it most certainly can be alcoholism before graduation).

If you think that you or someone you know may have an alcohol problem (or if you’re just plain curious as to what one looks like), check out this questionnaire from Alcoholics Anonymous.  As they say, only you can make the call as to whether or not you have a problem.  But from experience, they say that answering, “yes” to 4 or more of the questions typically indicates a problem.

Sin is sin because it hurts us and the people around us.  Don’t reject your own ability to reason; and don’t be the reason someone else thinks it’s normal to have an alcohol problem.  It’s just not worth it.

When Taking A Stand Isn’t Easy

Raise your hand if you saw or re-posted the link to Google’s “End Piracy, Not Liberty” landing page (or something of the like) yesterday.

*raises hand*

yay!  Isn’t taking a stand for something you believe in fun??  As young people, we seem to have this natural itch to be involved in some sort of activism.  We do crazy things like participate in protests, participate in awareness campaigns, or join the Peace Corps.   And, usually (though definitely not always), doing such things amounts to a good and productive use of our time.

But let’s get real for a second.

To be clear: I’m glad so many people are against SOPA—it’s a scary bit of legislation.  I’m even glad so many people took a stand against it and (hopefully) called their congressman/congresswoman to make sure SOPA/PIPA don’t get passed (because if all you did was post the link, you missed the entire point of the exercise).  …And if there were no one at all re-posting the links, awareness wouldn’t have gotten around.  I get it.  Re-posting is good.

Is it bad, then, that I’m a little annoyed with the tendency to pat ourselves on the back for “taking a stand” when it seems to amount to nothing more than following the crowd?  If you stand up in a football stadium when your team scores a touchdown, are you really “taking a stand,” or are you just caught up in the moment with everyone else?  …Who doesn’t like a touchdown?  Especially when the other team winning means you essentially lose your right to free speech?

My point?  Good job for taking a stand against SOPA/PIPA.  It was the right thing to do.  But there’s more good to be done.  You just may not get as many “likes” on Facebook for standing up for it.

Example:

39 years ago this weekend, it became legal for a woman to take the life of the baby developing inside of her.  And around the country this weekend, hundreds of thousands of people will participate in peaceful protests against that law—mourning the loss of over 50 million lives taken since 1973.

You probably won’t hear much about these protests in the news.  Unfortunately, standing up for life hasn’t proven quite as popular as standing up for free speech has these past couple of days.  But if you re-posted the anti-SOPA/PIPA links yesterday, why not re-post this?

 

Mini-Marriages

Do you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend?  If you answered “yes,” then allow me to share something with you that my uncle shared with me when I was younger.  That person you’re dating right now?  One of two things is going to happen: You’re either going to one day get married, or you’re going to break up.  And I hate to say it, but odds are that you’re more likely to break up (it’s a funny little thing called statistics).

I’m not saying this to bring you down; I’m saying this so that you’ll keep things in perspective.  Yes, the guy/girl who dumped you may be a jerk that didn’t realize what he/she had, but there’s no reason why your world has to end because of it.  And just as relevant, there’s no reason why you need to go on a yearlong mission to prove (through Facebook albums, partying, or serial dating) just how “over him” you are.   Fact is: when it comes to dating, break ups are pretty common.  Dramatic and public “mini-divorces” between you and your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend should not be.

As my uncle would say, the only way to avoid the pain and the drama of the “mini-divorce” is to not enter into the “mini-marriage” in the first place.  If you go on every date thinking, “we’re either going to get married or we’re going to break up”, then you’re probably going to have a much more mature outlook than the person thinking, “this could be the one!” before they’ve even finished the appetizer on the first date.  When it comes to dating, it’s so important that we guard our hearts.  We want them to be intact enough to give to the person God has created us for, and ultimately to God Himself entirely.

(Seeing as I stole his wisdom for this post, it’s fitting that I plug my uncle’s Young Adult Ministry — serving 18-25 year olds all over the country :) )

Why True Love Doesn’t Always Wait

It’s Human Nature 101:  We all have a desire within us to give love and to be loved in return.  And while we may seek to fulfill and express this desire in many different ways (some ways healthy and good for us… many twisted and damaging to us) it usually all comes back to this basic principle.  We’re human.  We need love.

And when it comes to love, there is often a lot of emphasis in our society placed on “waiting”.  Obviously at this point I could point to how us Christians talk an awful lot about “waiting” until marriage.  After all, true love waits, right?  But we also hear a lot of talk about “waiting” in our secular world, too.  When things don’t work out with what’s-his-name, for whatever reason, it’s ok, because we tell ourselves that Mr. Right will come along eventually.  We just have to wait.  It’s classic Disney.  “Someday my prince will come.”  But until then, I’ll just wait.

This is all well and good.  And it is certainly true that love is patient (1 Corinthians 13, anyone?).  However, in all this talk about waiting for marriage, and waiting for Mr. (or Miss) Right, it seems we all too easily forget that Love is waiting for us, too.  And in this case, a response is required on our part—right now. (And later today.  And tomorrow.  And every day for the rest of our lives)

waitingpin

You don’t have to wait another minute for your love story to begin, because Love has been waiting for you since the moment of your conception (talk about Love being patient!).  This Love waits on you even when you refuse it and turn away from it.  This love waits on you even when you spit in its face.  The one who created you loves you more than you are capable of understanding.  And until we begin to realize this, we’re really missing the bigger picture of this whole “love” thing anyway.

If God does one day call you to marriage, I’m sure that your Mr. (or Miss) Right is going to be amazing and is going to love you more than you even know.  But, whether you believe it or not, the fact that God loves you is always going to be a bigger deal.  (And the right “Mr. Right” will tell you that himself).

So pray for your vocation.  Pray for your future spouse.  But most of all, pray that God will open your heart to receive His love, and pray for the grace to love Him in return.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Be This Guy

Look, I love music as much as the next person.  Music is wonderful and it is often very powerful (in fact, I have written on this before).  I’m very much in the pro-music camp.  However…

Music is not life.
Music is not religion.
Music is not God.

There is a fine line between letting the music you listen to elevate your soul to contemplation, and worshipping music in itself.  I’m thinking a good majority of people in my age bracket has crossed that line.

It’s a little bit like chasing a high.  Music can be cathartic, and that is a good and healthy thing.   But the funny thing about the word “catharsis” is that it actually means, “to purge”.   And if all you do is “purge”, then eventually there’s not going to be anything left.  Catharsis is supposed to have a purpose.  Music is supposed to have a purpose.  It can’t be everything you wake up for in the morning.  If it is, you’re going to find yourself unhappy pretty soon (but then again, musicians tend to thrive on that “tortured-artist” schtick).

It’s not that posting song-lyrics as your Facebook status every couple of hours is necessarily bad…it’s just that it makes us wonder if you actually have any original thoughts of your own.

And maybe the guy or girl you currently like enjoys having his or her Facebook wall spammed with YouTube music videos of all your favorite, obscure, bands, but I bet he or she would probably just rather have a real conversation with you.  Yes, there is something to be said for getting to know someone through learning about his or her taste in music.  But people can usually tell after a little while that your love for the Red Hot Chili Peppers does not necessarily mean that you are thoughtful or deep.

Bottom line: There’s a lot more to us than we often realize, and the God who created you knows you a lot better than a 4 1/2 minute song.  Maybe it’s time to turn the music down for a bit and listen to what He is saying instead.