Drugs and alcohol is a major problem within society today. It is also a problem that many people do not recognize or are willing to realize. Sure it's in the cities and the back alleys where most people wouldn't want to be. But it is in the high schools and middle schools of rural America as well. We close our eyes to it often because we don't want to believe that it is in our backyards.
By high school alcohol is such a problem that the statistics are almost laughable. I participated in D.A.R.E. a program designed to bring police officers into elementary schools to teach them about drugs. As a high school senior I was among the top of my class and was joined by seven others from my Advanced Placement Government class to talk to the children one day.
Of course the question came up as to whether we had used any drugs or alcohol. A couple of my peers told the truth and admitted to drinking before. A couple more wouldn't admit to it. As I talked to them afterward I found that only half of our delegation of eight hadn't used drugs or alcohol before. This is among the top students in my graduating class and fully half had drunk and some did other things less legal I'm pretty sure.
I write this as a wake up call to parents and everyone else concerned. Don't think that your child, or niece, or grandson is too good to get involved in such affairs. Drugs and alcohol are out there and are easy to get. There are people out there that prey on teenagers and will get them addicted to any substance they can as long as they can make money from them.
We all know the consequences of drugs and alcohol. We know how they hurt our bodies. We know that alcohol has destroyed many families and many marriages. We know statistics like the fact that 50% of all rapes involve alcohol.
We know all these things, and teach our children this and still we have these problems. We can't scare our children with these statistics because they fall on deaf ears when set against peer pressure. But there is hope. There is something we can do that can defeat this problem if we would just do it.
We can pray. Pray for your children, your nieces, your grandchildren, the kids at your church, and the ones in your neighborhood. Pray and teach them from God's Word about drugs and alcohol. And pray once again that His word would remain in their hearts better than all consequences of these things and scare tactics.
And what does God's word say? 1 Corinthians 6:12 says, "'Everything is permissible for me'- but not everything is beneficial." Paul goes on to say in verses 19-20, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." Even harsher words came before in a very similar wording. 1 Cor. 3:16-17 says, "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple."
The verses in chapter six concern God's view of sexual immorality but apply to drugs and alcohol as well. The verses in chapter three are simply followed by a condemnation of earthly wisdom. God has harsh words for those who destroy their body, which drugs and alcohol do. This is God's warning, not man's warning of what may happen to the body, but God's of what happens to the soul.
While this isn't saying that Christians who use drugs and alcohol are going to hell, there is certainly some sort of judgment announced here.
What Christians should be more wary of however, is that this kills their witness to others. While some denominations will hold that it is okay to drink, I won't argue that here, it still kills their witness in my opinion. The world has an opinion of Christians, right or wrong, and to be doing these things in front of non-Christians may lead them astray. We are to avoid the appearance of evil the Bible tells us, and if non-Christians think that we are doing wrong, in their minds we are, and they will think less of all Christians. This has happened numerous times before.
Therefore we must watch ourselves and our witness to others concerning this area. We must teach others the truth about it, directly from God's word. And we must pray. It is our only hope in helping some people with this problem. It's our best hope to combat peer pressure facing our teens today. And it is possibly our least used weapon in this fight. Therefore pray, pray, pray.