as you may know, i can be a little cavalier online. which is to say, i tend to be cavalier in my life and try to give honest slices when communicating online. and i honestly feel this is part of my job. growing up i often heard fear-driven overstatements from people in spiritual leadership when it came to sensitive issues of conscience, namely alcohol consumption. what i seldom saw were tangible examples of engagement and moderation, especially since attempts at championing moderation might have resulted in serious disappointment and public embarrassment.
but this is the risk we run while attempting to live in the mystery of the spirit rather than taking the easier route of constructing for ourselves a new law by which we can appease god, let alone satisfy our own consciences. and so, if i am destined to err on one side or the other, i very much prefer erring on the side of engaging with and enjoying all that god has made (even if that means identifying the line of reasonable moderation as it passes beneath my feet) to living in fear of god’s good gifts and missing them entirely.
as i have admittedly danced all over this line in a cycle of enjoyment and regret, i have probably landed on both sides of it an equal amount of times. and sometimes very publicly, thanks to modern megaphones like twitter & facebook (which i both enjoy and use voluntarily and willingly). i feel it would be more a cause for repentance if i were misrepresenting my journey in this regard than attempting to state it plainly (as i seek to do) even if the result is occasionally showing myself to be nothing like the savior whose name i accept as my own (after all, it seems the point of a public ‘christian life’ must be less about appearing like jesus as it is about appearing as one who needs jesus).
so mine is another brand of repentance. as i have considered the sensitivity of these issues and the very new development and complication of the public, decontextualized, and digitized sanctification process, i have come to a decision. i will no longer publicly discuss drinking alcohol online. and not because i don’t feel, as a 37 year old adult, that i am at liberty to do so (both drink and speak about drinking alcohol). rather, i feel that my doing so is incredibly insensitive to those who might struggle with drugs or alcohol, especially those in recovery (including some in my own family). it’s simply not worth the point that i would hope to make.
but i will continue to try and make it, as i believe it’s worth making (if for no other reason than the precedent it sets for other issues of conscience), just not in a way that lacks the proper context to keep my struggling brothers and sisters from harm. and for all the ways i have spectacularly failed at this, i repent and ask your forgiveness.
so here’s hoping you’re in an especially forgiving mood today. regardless, if given the chance, i’m sure i’ll come up with some other means of disappointing you. until then, cheers folks-