Had a few drinks this festive season? Had a few more than you should have on occasion? Wished you didn't have that much? Wished you hadn't have done what you did, or said what you said because you drank more than you should have? Think that everyone does it, so it's okay? Tired of all these questions?
Lindeman's used to advertise their wine with the slogan, 'the one purpose of wine is to bring happiness'. According to the Bible 'wine is a mocker and beer a brawler, and whoever is led astray by them is not wise.'(Proverbs 20:1) From Noah, to the man passed out drunk in the gutter last night, the misuse of alcohol, the abuse of alcohol, has caused massive problems in society throughout the ages, by stealing the ability of individuals to control their words and actions.
One in five deaths in Australia, and 30% of road traffic deaths each year are alcohol related. One half of all assault hospitalisations and nearly 60% of victim reported crime are alcohol related.40% of people arrested by police blamed alcohol for their offences. Half the alcohol being consumed in Australia each year is being consumed at levels which exceed safe drinking guidelines, leading to thousands of deaths and injuries. 70% of the latter go unreported.
So wine, and alcohol of all varieties, brings happiness. Happiness is a worthy pursuit isn't it? Not if it's your only goal, and not if the use or especially the abuse of alcohol is the only way you can find it. Alcohol doesn't fix problems, in fact it often causes them, or makes them worse. If booze is your best medicine, then you are really sick. Alcohol is not a healer. Our heavy drinking culture is a festering sore which is infecting us all.
'Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Those who ,linger over wine, who go to samples of mixed bowls of wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. They hit me, you will say, but I am not hurt. They beat me but I don't feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?' (Proverbs 23:29-32, 35)