Causing Another to Stumble: Rethinking Our Views on Alcohol
It’s a hot summer day, and you just got done mowing your lawn. Wouldn’t a cold beer taste nice?
You are celebrating the wedding of your beloved friend’s daughter. A toast requires champagne, doesn’t it?
For your company’s Christmas party you are asked to bring a bottle of wine.
All of these examples are very common and almost expected in American society. But for the one who suffers from alcoholism, these scenarios are not acceptable and often are “triggers” for the alcoholic to want to start or actually start drinking again (relapse).
Alcoholics are put in uncomfortable situations on a daily basis. Unlike other drugs, alcohol is so accepted in our society and is splashed into our daily lives through advertising, restaurants, bars, family reunions, weddings, birthdays, holidays, picnics and barbeques, sporting events, and the list goes on and on. The non-alcoholic will not think twice about ordering a drink at dinner. After all, didn’t you read somewhere that a glass of red wine is good for your health?
The alcoholic views such situations as a daily reminder that he is “different”—that he is not “normal.” I urge you to be conscious of those around you. Not everyone can drink alcohol and stop at one cold beer. Extending love and compassion to all is a command from our Lord (John 13:34); judgment is not.
I challenge you to step back and look at all the occasions where alcohol is present. You may be surprised. Help those who need help; show concern if you think someone you love is drinking too much or may need help to stop. If you don’t know where to start or are afraid of hurting someone’s feelings by approaching them with your concern, remember that alcohol can be a dangerous addiction that rarely can be handled without help from others.