Whether it is from being personally impacted, from knowing someone personally walk through alcoholism, or simply seeing it acted out in TV shows by alcoholic characters - most of us are familiar with that phrase: My name is………and I am an alcoholic. It is a phrase many have spoken in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings over many years.
Last week in John 2:1-12 at church we rejoiced in Jesus’ sign of turning water into wine. We were reminded that he is the Messiah and the powerful Son of God. The overflowing abundance of Jesus’ sign also reminded us of the abundant blessings found in the new covenant with God. Through faith in Jesus we look forward to the great banquet when Jesus returns and we enjoy life to the full with Him forever more.
With all these great things in mind it was a stark contrast to reflect briefly upon what God gave as a good gift (wine in Ps 104:15; abundant wine as a sign in John 2) being often so abused in society - sometimes even by Christians. Most of us are aware of the dangers of abusing alcohol. Indeed the sinful human capacity to misuse and abuse all sorts of things is one of the very reasons we need a saviour in the first place. However, being a Christian does not automatically make Christians immune from abusing alcohol. That’s why the Apostle Paul reminded us in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 that drunkards will not inherit the Kingdom of God – so that we will not take that path, or if we are on that path we repent of it.
Overcomers Outreach is a ministry in Sydney that seeks to help Christians (amongst others) bring their lives back under the Lordship of Jesus in all areas, but particularly in the area of addiction. The lady that established this ministry in Sydney has published her story on the website www.overcomersoutreach.net and she says:
My name is Penny and I am an alcoholic. Alcohol controlled my life for a long time and I didn’t know it and once I did know it, I practiced denying it for as long as I could. I didn’t have the tools to overcome.
Penny’s problems began when she turned to alcohol to help cope with increasing feelings of being out of control in life. For Penny it took years before she acknowledged there was a problem. In the end the gap between her external successful public life and her private life of drunkenness became too great to ignore. She found moments of sober solace and held on to the simple truths she’d always known – Jesus loves her; he wants her to trust him. In time, she realised she needed help, she started with AA and she turned back to Jesus and took the first steps to recovery (read the full story at the link above).
Do you have a problem with alcohol? Do you have another addiction that is pulling you away from the Lord Jesus? Sometimes Christians feel they are alone, or cannot speak up about these things or that there is no place for help to be found. If that is you or someone you love there is help available if you are willing to take the first step.
Penny’s is one powerful story amongst many. If you don’t feel you can speak to those closest to you at church or home, why not try Overcomers Outreach (www.overcomersoutreach.net)? There are discrete meetings around the city and many people to connect with who have found recovery and new freedom as they’ve turned back to Jesus in their particular area of temptation.