Proverbs 20:1 -Proverbs 20:1 (ESV) Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

One can hardly refer to any verse in the whole Bible that speaks of alcoholic beverages in any sense without engendering the debate about total abstinence versus non-inebriating drinking. So let’s just say what the text says and not get embroiled in arguments. Wine mocks the drinker and liquor turns people into brawlers, therefore do not be led astray by them. Do not think that you are the exception to the rule. Wine will mock you and strong drink will make you something that you are not normally.

The fruit of the Spirit is self control and one must never be under the control of anything but the Holy Spirit of God. Be filled with Him. It is foolish to allow yourself to be controlled by a substance that brings out the worst in you and causes you to look even more stupid than you are. A drunk Christian is an oxymoron and if he is unable to stop before he gets drunk then he should never start. If he is worried that he might drink too much then he should have none at all. If he is going to be driving then he should remember that it is a fool who will say “it won’t effect me” That is the mockery of wine.

If the money is needed for groceries, the church, the family, bill paying etc. then he should not spend it on wine and beer. That is a sure sign that he is being mocked by it and led astray.

It is also appropriate here to apply the principle to other behaviours as well. Don’t be mastered by anything other than God Himself. Alcohol, food, sex, entertainment (see a good little article about entertainment addiction here), music, computer use … the list of things that can turn into addictions that enslave us is very, very long.

II Peter 2:19, speaking of people who entice us to what is wrong puts it very plainly –

They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.

It is not only wine that is a mocker. Behaviours and habits that we cannot say “no” to are our masters. The only One worthy of that title is God Himself. Addictions do not have our best interest at heart. God has nothing but our good at His heart. Be wise and do what needs to be done to be free from whatever enslaves and live in the glorious freedom of the sons of God.