Alcohol is a dangerous liberty. I learned this lesson the hard way, even as a Christian involved in ministry. I could have a beer or two on special occasions, but because of my past problem with alcohol as a young adult, the addiction was always ready to take hold of me again. It took an embarrassing situation, and a subsequent relapse, for me to realize that my supposed "liberty" was really an opportunity to awaken a dormant addiction.
I apologized to those I affected. I also told my wife and a few trusted friends that I could no longer exercise this liberty—it was too easy to digress beyond the boundaries of responsibility. God used this situation to reveal my blind-spots. God may use this article to speak to you as well, but we must be humble and teachable.
My heart goes out to Perry Noble and his family. All pastors are one choice away from disqualifying themselves in one way or another. No one is above the reach of Satan's grasp, including me. John Owen wrote, "Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you."
The person who consumes alcohol walks a very fine line between freedom and sin, responsibility and carelessness, liberty and abuse. This discussion is not about a glass of wine or beer now and then; it's about abusing liberty.
Watch the video to see how.
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California. More can be found at ShaneIdleman.com, and free downloads of his books are available at WCFAV.org. Visit him on Facebook and subscribe to his new podcast.
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