Being the good, Christ-loving, little gal I am, I totally behaved myself whilst in Vegas. I did not drink nor have any kind of hookups, and I kept my gambling well within my budget – even winning enough to buy us some Starbucks in the end. 🙂 The more conservative among us would love that about me. I don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs and I’m keeping ‘em closed for Jesus (which is my playful way of saying I remain/ed chaste.) I do however, wear a lot of skulls, dress slightly more provocatively sometimes, and swear a whole bunch. Does that make me a bad Christian? A sinner?

Well, as we discussed last time, that depends on who you ask. Personally, I’d have to say hell no it doesn’t! What’s sin for one person may not be for another. The Bible has some pretty clear words about these things. Hard and fast rules we should all live by, as well as guidelines that may or may not apply to you. That’s why getting to know God and Jesus personally is so important!

Take Jesus’ behavior for example. He gave a bunch of drunk partiers the best wine they’d ever had. Which would have only made them more drunk. And he was perfect. God’s only son. The perfect sacrifice for us all because he never “missed the mark.” His intentions were always his actions. And he ALWAYS intended to follow his Father’s will. Public drunkenness isn’t a sin then…? What conservative would ever agree with me? Probably none of them. But then, aren’t they calling Jesus a sinner too? Or at the very least accusing him of leading these people “astray”?

He was and is the perfect shepherd, so clearly they would be in the wrong here. Jesus did nothing wrong by providing the wine and these people did nothing wrong by drinking it. Drinking alcohol is not actually a sin. But that is a guideline and not a rule. Know how I know? Because some people when they’re drunk are warm and happy and fun! They do nothing that would later get them in trouble besides maybe dance on a table or two. No problems to be had there. 🙂

But some people get violent or make truly terrible choices, like to take a complete stranger home and have sex with them. If you know that when you’re drunk you scream terrible things at your wife or beat the ever-livin out of your kids, then drinking is sin for you, my friend! If it becomes your “god” (i.e. you get addicted), then alcohol is a sin for you! Any circumstances in which you know that drinking will lead you to truly sinful behavior, meaning that ingesting alcohol will lead you to do things that you would not truly wish to do otherwise, then drinking it is a sin for you! It’s that clear-cut and simple. On pretty much everything really!

People do like to complicate these things though, and I’m one of them. We’re lying to ourselves, and we always know it, but we are seldom willing to fess up to it. We keep at something we know is sin for us, because it’s not for other people and we try to convince ourselves and Jesus that we’re one of those other people. We’re not. In fact, we’re only making it worse for ourselves by trying to be. When we finally stop fighting and just give in, it’s the greatest feeling of relief! Why? Because we’re finally being our true selves! Exactly who God made us to be. Yay! 😀

Personally, I find this completely awesome! It means that outside of a few hard and fast rules, we’re judged on a case by case basis by a God who knows us better than we know ourselves. It also completely frees us from the judgement of others who are not speaking out of love but condemnation and/or hate. They genuinely have no idea what they are talking about, and that means you don’t have to let them have any sway in your life. Again, yay!

This doesn’t free us to do anything and everything we feel like doing, but it does fully free us to have fun and be uniquely who God created us to be. Different from anybody else, but still sharing common ground. Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This makes sin the great equalizer. Yet another piece of sameness we all share as human beings. No one is better than anyone else. No one is blameless and pure. The only one among us who ever was, never spoke hateful judgement to those falling short around him. Jesus loved people with the truth. He told it to them straight and with love so that they might see the error of their ways and live better, more authentic lives closer with their Creator. Because HE LOVED THEM. And because he loves us now and forever, hate will never win the day. 🙂

Until next time,

~Shalese Brynn💋