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Let’s talk about booze.

Let’s talk about booze.

MARCH 7, 2024

/ Programs / Key Life / Let’s talk about booze.

Steve Brown:
Let’s talk about booze, on this edition of Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
The deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers. That’s what Key Life is all about. So, if you’re hungry for the hopeful truth that God isn’t mad at you, keep listening. Steve Brown is a professor and our teacher on Key Life.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. We’re continuing with the various subjects found in the Book of Proverbs. And there’s, I almost didn’t do this, but I think I’m going to because I think it’s important. The subject is wine and weirdness. And you’re reading about all this wisdom and how we’re to live our lives, about our legacies, about important things that are really important. And then you come on this broadcast, this passage in Proverbs 23:29 through 35. Listen to this.

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contingent? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine; those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly. At the last it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things. Your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, or the one who lies at the top of the mast. Saying, “They have struck me, but I was not hurt; they have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? And when I do, I will look for another drink.”

Boy, I’ll tell you, they ought to put that on the masthead of AA. That says it just about right. I’m often asked what I think about booze. And before I say what I’m going to say, I’ve got to say something else. I’m a teetotaler. I don’t drink alcoholic beverages. I never have, in fact, not even once in my entire life. I was in Northern Ireland and went to Ireland during that trip a few years ago, and they have Guinness everything, Guinness jewelry and Guinness advertisements and Guinness clothes and Guinness t shirts. And I thought, well, maybe I ought to try a Guinness. I can’t, you know, I’ve never done that before, but man, I’m here and this is where it’s made. Listen, just some advice from the old guy. If you’re not a drinker, don’t start with Guinness, okay? That’s like drinking axel grease. It didn’t go down, I spit it out. It just was plain awful. And so, I’m a teetotaler, I just want you to know that. I do not believe that teetotalism is the standard that every Christian on the face of the earth has to face. I have friends who partake of adult beverages, and I don’t throw rocks at them. I just don’t. But I do say, be very, very careful. Booze can be exactly what the writer of Proverbs says it is. It can make you weird, it can make you a fool, and at some point, you will think you’re not going to be able to live if you don’t have another drink. I have spent a lot of time with a lot of people who had a booze problem, who denied it. And I would say, alright, let’s try a test. I want you to have one beer a day. And if you exceed that one beer a day, I want you to come back and see me because you’re a drunk. You’re an alcoholic, and I’m going to put you with a local AA group and get you some counseling because you need some help. And in almost every case, they’ve had to come back and talk to me about it. And sometimes, not often, but sometimes, I would read Proverbs 23:29 through 35 to them. And it’s important that Christians, in fact, if you’re a Christian, just don’t. You’d be better off. You have no idea the number of families that have been destroyed, businesses that have gone down the tube, people who have been hurt because of booze. And I’m not giving you an absolute legalistic rule that you’ve got to obey. But be very, very careful. Somebody sent me a great story not too long ago. A highway patrolman waited outside a particular local bar. He was hoping for a bust. At closing time, as everybody came out, he spotted his potential quarry. The man was so obviously inebriated that he could barely walk. He stumbled around in the parking lot for a few minutes looking for his car. He finally found it and then he couldn’t find his keys and when he found his keys he couldn’t get them to, he finally got it to work on the car. And he climbed in and it took him forever. He turned the lights on and off and on and off and he finally started the car. He sat there for a good 10 minutes while the highway patrolman watched and waited patiently to make the arrest. When the man finally started the car and drove out of the parking lot, the police officer turned on his lights and then pulled the man off to the side. He stopped him, and the guy was forced to get out of the car. The patrolman, waiting for exactly the right time, turned his patrol lights on, pulled the man over, made him get out of the car. The patrolman administered the breathalyzer test, and to his total surprise, it came out zero. The patrolman was dumbfounded. This equipment must be broken, he said. I doubt it, the man said. The fact is that tonight, I’m the designated decoy. So, be the designated decoy. When I was growing up, I was the designated driver because I didn’t drink. And it wasn’t because I was so pure, it’s because I just couldn’t get the stuff down. Every time I tried wine, it felt like it was Kool Aid gone bad. And I’m thankful for that because of Proverbs 23:29 through 35. I don’t want to talk about it anymore, but I told you what I think, and I think what I think is true. And then let’s talk about revenge. Listen to this. This is Proverbs 24:17 through 18.

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and it displeased the Lord, and he turned away from him.

Proverbs 25:21 through 22.

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat. And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the Lord will reward you.

If you’re familiar with the Book of Romans, you know that in the twelfth chapter of Romans, the apostle Paul said exactly the same thing about heaping coals. One time, Jonathan Edwards was kicked out of his church and two men were responsible. And he refused because he had read Proverbs. He refused to be angry, or to try to get revenge. And he didn’t do that because he didn’t think justice should be done. He didn’t do it because he knew what God had said, that that was God’s business and not his business. And do you know what happened with those two men? One went insane and one committed suicide. That’s a living illustration of a truth. And just so you know, when I was a pastor, I made a point of telling that story at least once a year. And then I would say to the congregation, and they thought I was joking, and they laughed, but not very loud. I would say, I’m just saying, be careful, be careful. What’s going on here? It’s a principle. It’s not your responsibility to get even, nor is it your responsibility to get back. Have you been hurt by someone you trusted? Have you been lied to? Has someone put a knife in your back? Have you been gossiped about? What should you do about it? Nothing, because God knows. And that’s His business. And every book will be balanced. And just because those books aren’t balanced every Thursday doesn’t mean that He won’t. Okay? You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
And just like that, we wrap up another stellar week of teaching from the Book of Proverbs. Thank you Steve, for that. And of course, tomorrow we have Friday Q&A with Steve and Pete. And in case you didn’t know, that’s when folks just like you send in their pressing questions and then Steve and Pete answer them. Do you have such a question? Well, tune in tomorrow to learn how you can get it answered. Say, have you heard? Key Life Magazine is here. In this edition, Steve suggests we never take advice from anyone about a difficult matter unless he or she agrees that it is a difficult matter. Chad West shares some wisdom about dealing with the snarling, barking religious types who threaten you with guilt. Alex Early offers a poem that beautifully reminds us of who Jesus is and isn’t. And if you can’t seem to find your calling in life, Kendra Fletcher delivers some timely encouragement. Claim your free copy right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the magazine. Or to mail your request, go to to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for Key Life Magazine. Finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you support that work through your giving? You could charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or simply text Key Life to 28950 to give safely and securely. Again, that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Just text that to 28950, then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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