I have a feeling if you’re reading this, you’ve probably fallen under the peer pressure of the college lifestyle once or twice. I’m no psychic, but I do know that when you enter your college years, there is no way around it. You can’t hide from them…unless you lock yourself in your room all day.
I am not writing this article to shame anyone for falling under peer pressure. I do it all the time. If I’m being really honest, I’ve been the one pressuring others. I know. Guilty.
I’m also not writing this article to make you feel like you’re a bad person for participating in any of these things. My main purpose for this article is to tell you what I have been struggling with lately, and how God has shown me what a stumbling block it has become in my life. My prayer is that you would find that thing in your life that you’re continuously saying yes to, when you know it’s holding you back from experiencing all God has for you.
Last week was my 22nd birthday. Gosh, it’s weird typing that out. It makes me feel like I should have everything figured out by now. But I don’t and that’s okay. Actually, I’m still figuring out the simplest of things in life. One being how to make it through the weekends without sipping on a dangerously delicious margarita from El Jal.
Drinking can be an incredibly intense and confusing topic to discuss when you are trying to follow Jesus. Some people think its impossible to have a relationship with Christ and have a Corona at the same time. For them, it’s one or the other. And then there are those who believe that if you are of age, why not enjoy a few drinks.
Personally, I am still trying to figure it out. Some or even most of you might not agree with me, but that’s not why I’m writing this. I’m just here to dump all of my thoughts into a blog in hopes you would know you’re not alone in this constant battle of enjoying college, but knowing how to control yourself.
Lately, I am trying to figure out how I can glorify God and receive all that He has planned for my life, without making alcohol a stumbling block. I’m not excited to admit that I fall short often, but I do. I knew turning 22 didn’t mean sitting in your living room playing Scrabble, it meant a couple beers. After dinner that night, I was feeling it a little bit if you catch my drift, and I came home and I just wept. That’s weird right? Like who cries on their birthday after a few drinks?
I take that back. I can name a few people off the top of my head.
Anyways, I wasn’t crying because I was under the influence and upset about some boy, I was crying because God had placed this conviction on my heart and all I kept hearing Him say was, “I have more for you.”
I believe God gives different people different convictions. And for me, mine is drinking past my limits. In the Bible, it says that drunkenness is a sin. There is obviously no getting around that, but when I test my limits and try to convince myself I’m not intoxicated and that it’s okay to have one more drink, I’m not only being a stumbling block for myself and the plans God has for me, but I am being a stumbling block for others.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.
If I am not able to invest in people and our conversations because I had too much to drink, then I am denying them the opportunity to know about what all the Lord is doing in my life.
Everyone has different opinions about drinking. Hence the title, “The Gray Areas.” I know college makes everything look fun, and I won’t lie and say it isn’t, but there’s a point in our walk with Jesus, where we just have to weigh the outcomes and ask ourselves if this third or fourth drink is going to hinder us from living out the life God calls us too.
I’m no better at this than the next person but I believe once we start taking those chances to be bold and saying no while everyone else is saying yes, we will see growth with our own eyes. And not only will we see it in us, but in those that are watching us with desires to be a part of something bigger. Something like God’s Kingdom.
Sharing your past, your failures, and all your junk doesn't only bring you the freedom and healing that the Lord is so clearly offering us, but it reminds others that they're not alone in this broken world.