Both recreational marijuana and recreational alcohol both contain a trace element of a powerful substance that is extremely harmful. Every bottle of beer and every inhale of pot includes this powerful, yet usually unrecognized material. This substance has a powerful and long lasting affect on the user. In fact, long after the alcohol or TCP has been flushed from the blood stream, this stuff is still hanging around doing its job. It is called “distrust” and it can linger for a long, long time.
The outside observers of the marijuana and alcohol users may be accused of overreacting, judging and even lacking forgiveness. But the “distrust” can still linger toward the users and exercisers of what is now often legal and accepted. Many other “sins” exist and all have there own unique fallout. Biblically, we know that if we are guilty in one point, we are guilty in all (James 2:10). But in America, in this day and age, a person who is involved in alcohol use or marijuana use is subject to the universal scrutiny of people’s memory. Here are a few examples:
- I am a surgeon. I am going to perform a delicate and lifesaving surgery on your three year old daughter. You just found out I have been know to smoke pot regularly. …..Are you going to use my services? I think not! Most folks would be looking for an equally qualified, non-pot smoker.
- I am a pilot. I will be flying your 747 with 120,000 horsepower at 30,00 feet. I have had a drink. …..Still want me, or would you maybe prefer some who has abstained?
- I am your child’s 3rd grade elementary teacher. Your child is so impressionable. At lunch hour, I will be having a beer. …..Oops! I just lost my job.
- I am your pastor, your youth leader, your Sunday school teacher and I smoke pot and drink because I have the right to do it. …..Oh no! my church is empty and I have no followers!
These examples point to my bottom line (surgeons with no patients, pilots with no passengers and teachers with no students). Distrust lingers! Rights are superseded by responsibility. Drugs and alcohol taint a person’s testimony because people tend to have this thing called a memory. It’s not a lack of forgiveness, its discernment. It’s not judging, it remembering.
Whether we like it or not we are all supposed to be good role models. Leaders should have followers. Christians especially are called to role model constantly. It is called discipleship. It is not optional for people who follow Christ to have their own followers. But there is no Sunday School room, no church, no youth group filled with happy, growing, vibrant kids where the leader has constantly exercised their right to drink or smoke pot. People won’t put up with that! They will not follow someone they do not trust.
Biblical, God honoring, Christianity is suffering from those who constantly focus on what they can do rather than what they should do. Distrust is strong and lingers in the lives of way too many who have exercised a “right”. Those who live loose and free will find that they are absent of any serious followers. It should be personally disturbing for a Christian to look behind themselves and see no one there.