LIGHT DIMMERS: What dims the light within you? What limits your creativity, your spiritual desires, your evolution to becoming a more Devine being? Honest evaluation can’t hurt, right? I believe we have an ongoing responsibility to our spirit to reflect on anything blocking the path toward a deepening faith walk.
Galatians 5:21 mentions drunkenness, along with a plethora of other sins. The verse also goes on to say: “Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” (NLT)
Proverbs 23: 20-21 says “Do not carouse with drunkards or feast with gluttons, for they are on their way to poverty…” (NLT)
I started drinking in college. I didn’t like the taste at first, yet loved fitting in. I wanted to belong and have fun within a group of friends. I drank for confidence for the longest time. I wasn’t a real confident guy in my early to mid-twenties. Talking to a girl out of the blue just wasn’t something I could muster up the courage to do as a young adult. “Liquid courage” as they say, was my answer! I started drinking as more of an escape once I got into the “real world.” Nothing like getting home and cracking open a cold one after a long day! I felt like a bad day of work deserved a drink, or three. I also felt like a good day at work deserved the same, for celebration purposes. I’ve done plenty of drinking from a place of pain. Relationships going sideways certainly helped me tip the bottle over the years! I used to drink when I felt down, merely to feel more down, which of course helped me feel more sorry for myself. Parties, work functions, get togethers, happy hours, banquets, traveling, holidays, watching sports…. you name it- there is always a reason to drink alcohol if looking for one!
I definitely enjoy the relaxation and social aspect of a beer during a sporting event, a party and on the golf course. I just enjoy the taste of a cold draft beer while watching my favorite football team. I don’t think there is anything wrong with enjoying a few drinks. I just think I have a history of drinking for all the wrong reasons. When I would drink to boost confidence, curb pain, because I felt sorry for myself, or for any other unhealthy reason- drinking TOO MUCH. often ensued. Over consumption can obviously lead to bad decisions. Drinking too much made me a different person- less aware, more ego driven, less motivated, etc.! I have also said and done uncharacteristic things because I wasn’t thinking clearly while drinking. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
The impact during and after over consumption is also crippling to my spiritual growth. I realize now that adding fuel to the fire isn’t the best method to handle hurt, pain or uncomfortable social situations. No soap box here, I’ve been there plenty! I finally view alcohol for what it is- a beverage meant to be enjoyed with proper portioning. Alcohol is just another short-term mechanism that I’ve used countless times for countless negative reasons. I didn’t realize how much of a stronghold it had on me until I started Surrendering to God daily and the appeal subsided. As many of you know, I’ve been praying to God every day for the strength to relinquish control and completely SURRENDER TO HIM! I guess the more God is in the driver’s seat of my life, the less room their is for other controlling substances to take the wheel. I’ve heard it said that the more we change (for the good or bad), the more our friends change as well. I suppose this is also true of a short-term crutch like alcohol. I suppose this particular “old friend” is less necessary if I’m focused on Higher Spiritual Priorities, such as God, Joy, Love, Gratitude, etc.!
I know the feeling when I’m getting to a space of drunkenness and I’m committed not to go there anymore. When I’ve over indulged and been drunk, I wasn’t only impacting that moment, I was impacting days after. A Light Dimmer dims our ability to connect spiritually with God via The Holy Spirit. A glass of wine isn’t going to dim my light. 4 glasses probably will, and 6 will for sure! Why would I take the chance of missing out on God speaking to or through me for a couple extra sips? I believe the more I’m in alignment with God, the more I experience JOY day to day. The more JOY I’m experiencing, the less unhealthy reasons to over consume. God is too valuable to me at this stage of life to suppress my connection with Him. I’m merely learning as I go, yet realize that mentally, spiritually and physically I gave too much power to this particular Light Dimmer. I now recognize this substance for what it is- a barrier to my Joy, a barrier to my Relationship with God, a barrier to my relationships with others, and a barrier not to be taken lightly.
Maybe you can relate to this particular Light Dimmer?! Maybe you struggle with something else that stunts your spiritual growth and joy- like shopping, battles with over-eating, a social media addiction, lust, or craving recognition from others?! Recognizing what dims our light is step one! Figuring out how to quench our desires in a more long-term, truly fulfilling way is step two. GOD FIRST, everything else second. I’m trying to get better each day, and I’m certainly not perfect. Battling anything that gets in my way of a Relationship with Him is a huge priority shift for me. Hence recognizing and working through anything that dims His light within me is a must!
Peace, Joy, Love, Fulfillment and All Things Good come from God first. Let’s not give anything the power to hold us back from leaning into a RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM!
What are your Light Dimmers?
For more pics and to fully experience the journey follow @surrender_project on Instagram!