An All Too Fitting Name

A company has recently started producing a beer that has been lauded by many as the “world’s strongest beer” and its name should sound very familiar to anyone who has read much about Solomon’s feelings about alcohol and the descriptions he uses. So what’s the name that reminds me about Solomon’s wise sayings? It’s none other than “Snake Venom.”

I don’t know if the name was given with the scriptures in mind, or if there’s just great irony in it, or if it was just given due to the natural mindset of the “pick your poison” attitude that comes with alcohol. Regardless of the intentions/motivation behind the name for the new beer it truly reflects the effect of alcohol that the word of God has warned about for millennia.

Whether you’re young or old, rich or poor, male or female, religious or secular, single or married, or your skin color is white, black, red, yellow, brown or any other color in between the warning is all too plain to miss – mess with alcohol and you’ll feel the pain after all the numbing joy wears off!

The serpent that lives within alcohol is sadly alive and well and he’s still ruining the lives of untold millions through his devastating bite, and with a “flashing lights and whistles” name like “Snake Venom” why would you expect this snake to do anything other than what a snake does?

At the end of the day it sounds like this beer is going to put a whole new spin on what it means to be a snake handler doesn’t it? But at the end of the day the result of the former won’t be any different from the end of the latter – deception that inevitably results in a slow death from the inside out.

Snake Venom really is an all too fitting name for this latest line of alcoholic drinks, and unfortunately a lot of people will sadly choose to “wear it” anyways.

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: “They have struck me, but I was not hurt; they have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”” (Proverbs 23:29-35)

#alcohol, #beer, #drinking, #proverbs, #self-destructive-behavior, #warnings

Illustration: Self-Destruction

Once there was an eagle soaring high in the sky and as it flew, almost out of sight, it became unsteady and finally began to fall. It plunged to the earth in a pasture near to men.

Both men approached the eagle and found it shaking and trembling. In its claw was a rattlesnake. The eagle had caught the reptile, soared in the sky, and finally lost the battle when the snake bit it. There it lay, holding the very thing that killed it!

People, unfortunately, are very similar. They have the thing from which they hope to derive some pleasure, but, like the eagle in the story, they are fighting a losing battle and are holding onto the very thing that will mean their spiritual death. How sad that a soul is lost because they won’t turn loose!

Am I holding onto something today that will ultimately destroy my soul?  If so, why not let it go while I still can?

“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience” (Col. 3:5-6, NKJV).

“For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:13-14, NKJV).

#illustrations, #self-destructive-behavior, #sin

Self-Destructive Behavior

Self-destructive behavior is all around us. I think one of the most commonly seen forms of this is the act of failing to take personal responsibility for our own actions or lack there-of. Why might this be self-destructive? Because people engage in self-deception when they do this, which impacts subsequent behavior. Until people see and admit their own faults and short comings, they simply will not change. Change is required to be truly happy in this world.

But more importantly, change is required to be pleasing to God. People who will not accept personal responsibility simply will not repent of their ways. Without repentance, there is no hope of eternal life. There can only be certainty of eternal punishment. This is the ultimate form of self-destructive behavior, IMHO.

I think one of the best examples of this behavior is found in Genesis 3. In verses 9-13, we see that Adam, upon being called out for disobeying God, blamed Eve, his wife. Eve subsequently blamed the serpent. However, upon close examination, we see that Adam actually did something worse. Much worse. He said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” Adam in essence blamed God because God was the giver of Eve, a point which Adam was careful to make. Adam and Eve had it made in Eden. The place was a paradise. God walked with them in the garden. Yet when Adam failed on the one and only command given him, he “passed the buck”. The end result was being kicked out of the garden and being forced to a life of hard labor and toil.

I find it interesting that the account of this behavior is the very first inspired account of man’s failings. Perhaps it was placed up front and center for a reason… We should take note.

#obedience, #repentance, #self-destructive-behavior

True self-destructive behavior

Kenny McKinley, a former football player for the University of South Carolina and a wide receiver for the Denver Broncos, was found in his Englewood, Colorado home Sept. 20 dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

McKinley’s former college coach, Steve Spurrier, said it was difficult to understand why the pro player took his own life. Each suicide appears to be a senseless case of self-destructive behavior. Little do we know of the pressures and problems that afflict peoples’ minds.

There are several organizations designed to help those whose despondency leads them to think or attempt suicide. But, there is something even more self-destructive than suicide. There is an eternal self destruction.

Jesus said, “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak,” (John 12:48-49 ESV).

If one, after hearing Jesus’ words, decides to reject him, there are grave consequences. When Jesus sent his 70 disciples to preach the kingdom of heaven was near, he pronounced woes on Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum because the people of those cities decided to reject Jesus and his words. “It will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you,” Jesus said to the people of these cities (Luke 10:14).

Rejecting the words and invitation of the Lord Christ is spiritual suicide, which is far worse than killing oneself. Ending ones’ life is tragic, certainly. But if one rejects the bread of life, one spiritually dies, which has far greater consequences.

#gods-word, #self-destructive-behavior, #suicide

Daily Nudge: Self-destructive behavior

Without identifying the person, name an act of self-destructive behavior you’ve seen recently.

This Nudge ties in with my editorial today on Forthright Magazine about the lady who doused her face with acid and our own behavior that can inflict personal harm.

Also, John, I wondered what examples we might find in Scripture of self-destructive behavior.

#nudge, #self-destructive-behavior