Is Alcohol Addiction a Sin?
This is a tricky question that carries a lot of moral, spiritual, religious and philosophical weight. First, it’s important to focus on what a “sin” actually means to you. Committing an immoral acts or wrongdoings that are against the divine law are “sins”. Put simply: “It’s something that’s wrong in the eyes of God”. When you admit to committing sin, you’re admitting to misbehaving, going astray, breaking the law or, quite simply, doing wrong. With that in mind, is alcohol addiction the same as breaking a law? Many believe that it is. However, your opinion matters here, too. In many ways, it comes down to why you believe what you believe. Growing up in household with strict rules will have a direct impact on what you feel constitutes “sinful”. After all, your upbringing plays a huge role in conditioning you to believe the things that you do.
One thing to bear in mind is that there is a huge difference between drinking alcohol and alcohol addiction. If you turn to The Bible for guidance, there are many absolutes on the subject. Interestingly, The Bible itself doesn’t say whether or not it’s a sin to drink to alcohol. It does, however, explicitly state that drunkenness is. In Ephesians 5:18, for example, God commanded all Christians to avoid drunkenness at all costs. Proverbs 23:29-5, 1 Corinthians 6:12, and Peter 2:19, among others, equally condemn the ill effects of drunkenness. Broadly speaking, Scripture doesn’t so much advocate against excessive drinking as it advises Christians to not conduct themselves in ways that would offend others or encourage them to betray their own convictions. That’s why alcoholism falls squarely in the “sin” category. It doesn’t make sense for Christian to drink liquor excessively and worship God with a clear mind and spirit.
The Bible’s Interpretation of Alcohol’s Role in Life
The Bible’s interpretation of alcohol’s role in life is sometimes confusing. It spends a great deal of time illustrating its virtues. Jesus is seen drinking wine (Matthew 26:29, for example), and alcohol is painted in positive ways throughout many books. In Eccelesiastes 9:7, readers are told to “drink your wine with a merry heart” while Psalm 104:14-15 features God has gifted wine on humanity because it “makes glad the heart of man.” Alcoholics, however, are unable to control their drinking, which makes it downright impossible to avoid being “sinful” in the eyes of God. In the end, many Christians don’t waste time trying to decide whether their drinking qualifies as “moderate” or, in many ways, worth the effort. For them, it’s simplest to avoid drinking altogether so they never run the risk of possibly committing a sin.
After nearly two decades of drinking and destroying just about every relationship in my life, I decided to get help. I didn’t know what to expect (and in some ways, I still don’t), but getting sober has been the most rewarding, fulfilling decision I’ve ever made. In the years since I entered treatment, secured an AA sponsor, and forged friendships in sobriety that rival all the others in my life, I feel like a completely different person. It’s as if I woke up in another person’s life.
Most of my recovery has been spent writing about my experiences, and I’ve been fortunate to have my work picked up by The Fix, AfterParty Magazine, The Literary Review, and The Live Oak Review, among others. I want to help others find meaningful, lasting sobriety in any way that I can, which is part of the reason I’m so committed to Genius Recovery. More than that, though, I sincerely believe in the vision, aims and purpose of Genius Recovery. I’m as passionate about recovery as I am about discovering levels to my life that I didn’t know existed. After all, addiction recovery is about hope as much as it is about possibility. Through my writing, I hope to guide others to discover what’s possible for them, too.– Paul