Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you you can’t have a glass of wine. Being a Chrisitan does not demand that we can’t drink alcohol, a fact which I have addressed here. However, I will discuss the idea of being “drunk” on anything.
First, let’s define “drunk” or “intoxicated”:
(of alcoholic drink or a drug) cause (someone) to lose control of their faculties or behavior.
excite or exhilarate.“the team was intoxicated by the prospect of another victorious season”
Essentially, intoxication – or being drunk – means you have lost control of your faculties, you are really excited by something, or you have been poisoned.
Can you be intoxicated by food? Of course! For anyone who is a binge eater, food takes control and makes you lose your ability to control your eating. You are trying to fill yourself up and get the “rush” from eating something delicious. This likely is because of the sugar content in the food, leading to a “high-seeking” behavior.
Food can also lead to excitement, constantly looking forward to your next meal. I know I’ve been in a place where I’m eating breakfast and planning lunch. Or literally watching the clock to see when it would be a reasonable time to eat lunch after eating breakfast.
Then there’s the whole “poison” issue. Food can be poison. I’m not talking about the giant food recalls warning that something you bought could make you sick. I’m talking about the food you eat every day being poisonous to your body and soul. Foods loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients can poison your body, causing diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression, and a whole slew of other issues.
This is what the Bible is talking about – using a substance of any kind to the point that you are no longer in control or you are poisoned. The bible wants us to be filled and taken over by the Holy Spirit. If anything has control of us that isn’t the Holy Spirit, we are doing a disservice to the Lord. Our eyes should be totally focused on Him, turning to prayer instead of junk food and hungering to be closer to Him instead of hungering for the next opportunity to overeat.
Just like wine, food can be enjoyed and relished without being intoxicating. It sustains us and gives us the energy to get through the day and of course serve the Lord. But once we use it to fulfill whatever is missing in our lives, we are moving farther away from Jesus and become “of this world” idolaters. So don’t focus on the “wine” in the scripture, you can replace “wine” with virtually anything – food, drugs, sex, power, lying, success, money, etc. – and it will mean the same thing: seek fulfillment from the Holy Spirit, not from anything else, as that will ruin your life.
The Bible tells us repeatedly to seek the Lord or the Holy Spirit above all else, and it is only when we learn to do that that we can put aside the idols of food or other addictions and truly live our best life. Imagine what would happen if we turned to God as often as we turn to food?! We would be constantly in the Word, taking it in, making it an unshakeable part of our lives. And the only thing that can come from that is fulfillment in the Lord, and the gradual putting aside of all the other things that control our lives.
Next time you want to reach for a cookie, reach for your Bible, and see what happens.
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God bless and good health.