Why I Don't Get Wasted
I've always been bothered by the "getting wasted"and "getting high" mentality. Coming from a family background where alcholism and drug abuse is not uncommon, I have seen the damage that substance abuse can wreak on lives and homes. But the underlying cause for the deeply unsettling feeling I have over drugs and alcohol is nothing overly dramatic. It's not because I think an individual will die from overdose from one night at the club or smoking one joint. I think my cause for disturbance lies in the word "wasted" itself. Wasted dreams. Wasted lives. Wasted potential.
My fear is that talking about subjects like this will create a situation where people think I have adopted a "holier than thou" judgemental attitude. But if you can understand the way that I am wired to think, you will see that there is much more to it than that. I believe that every person has divine purpose and destiny. I believe that there is a God that champions us, molds us and crafts us, making it possible for us to achieve dreams that we never believed were possible. I stand on the promise of Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." I believe that God is looking for a generation that will walk out the words of 1 Tim. 4:12, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." God is looking for those who are willing to be countercultural and to live for a higher purpose in a society that has lost it's moral standards.
I know there are those who will never see eye to eye with me on this topic. Many will roll their eyes and tell me I'm making too big of a deal about this and I need to loosen up.
It's a big deal.
Think about the words we use to describe getting drunk: wasted, hammered, smashed, sh*tfaced, f*$ked up, stoned, trashed, getting stupid. Am I crazy to think that I don't need to alter my ability to use good judgement and dumb myself down all for the sake of having a "good time"? Under the influence of alcohol and drugs we make split decisions that we would never make sober. We do things we regret and we wake up feeling worse than we started. Yet, I find that we glorify this lifestyle as "normal" in our society. Am I wrong to think that when we encourage people to get "wasted," "trashed," and "stupid" that what we are really doing is encouraging them to be the worst version of themselves?
I want to conclude with this thought: Society doesn't have high expectations for people, especially young people. The bar is set pretty low. You don't have to look past music and television to see that young people are usually protrayed as getting wasted every weekend and making all the dumb decisions that follow. What if we decided to be countercultural? What if we were so dedicated to achieving our dreams and making a positive impact that we refused to do anything that would set us back in our God given potential? What difference could we make in our world? Consider the words of Paul in Ephesians 5:8-16:
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible- and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: 'Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.' Be very careful, then, how you live- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.