During certain periods of my life, God brings verses specific to the season I am in. I may have mentioned this before. I posted the verse that has been coming back to me over and over again since I came to Virginia Beach a few months ago. 1thess 5:16-24 (this time in NASB):

Rejoice always;pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

Recently the subject of alcohol has been fleshing itself out in my mind. I come from a family that struggles to overcome alcoholism. I have lived a crazy life, I've struggled with many addictions, but in my eyes alcohol has never really been one that was hard for me to say no to or use in moderation (when I made the choice to do so!). I have friends that drink, friends that don't, friends that won't, and friends that shouldn't.
Personally, I am a long time lover of wine and always always always appreciate the discovery of new and local brews. A good dirty martini is essential from time to time as well. I genuinely appreciate the taste and enjoy savoring a delicious meal with a drink to compliment or relaxing with friends and a cold beer.
If anyone ever asked me "Do you think alcohol has any control in your life?" I would respond "no" with zero hesitation.

"But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;abstain from every form of evil."
"Test everything; Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil."

This subject has become a known struggle with a loved one in my life recently. Again, I am aware of the hold it can have on people. I've witnessed it with both family and friends in the past and am all too familiar with the process of discovering the problem and the struggle to overcome. It's painful to witness again. It has caused me to really examine what it means to "test everything", to "avoid every kind of evil" as well as what it really means to "carry each other's burdens" (Gal 6:2). I've been asking myself "does drinking have any kind of hold over me? Any?" and the answer may be that it does. I often think just because I've never had a serious issue with drinking heavily, I do drink frequently and allow myself the indulgence of a glass of wine to relax or a beer to calm my nerves in a new social situation.

I am testing and carefully examining my heart and intentions with having a drink. or two. or three. I am deciding that it's not necessary and want to really truly see where my dependence lies in those situations where I desire rest or comfort or just an easy conversation. I want my dependence to be on God if it needs to be anywhere at all.
I also want to live out Galatians 6:2 and support the people I love in making positive life choices.

Honestly, I feel great about it. I just hope this is a decision that the people around me support and encourage.

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