I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but when I notice that a person is saying a certain word or phrase over and over again, especially in a lecture or a presentation, I start tallying the number of times they say it. I know I have a problem with saying “like” all the time. It’s something I’m working on. There are a few things I’ve heard from so many people (and from myself, in one point in time) that I’ve thought through and have taken a stance on. I haven’t actually tallied the number of times I’ve heard people say these statements, but it’s a lot. So, here’s my (a sinner saved by grace) take on the things Christians say about partying.
I’m just going to have a good time with my friends. If I catch myself thinking or saying this, my first question would be, “Who is Lord of my life – Jesus or my friends?” As followers of Christ, we must think twice. We were called to be followers, not just fans. It seems as if apathy is what defines our generation. We are indifferent to most things that we should be taking a stance on, and we just go with the flow. We like to follow whatever seems like it’s worth following at any certain time, without much thought. Y’all, don’t just do something to do something “just for fun.” I mean really, when did drinking and staying up all night with your “friends” and facing harsh consequences the next day or week become fun? Believe me, I was this “Christian.” As the new Priyanka, I would point the old Priyanka to this portion of the Word:
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.
Wouldn’t we rather be like trees firmly planted by streams of water than weak, fruitless weeds? The Word of God is life giving; it helps us make wise, God-glorifying and God-honoring decisions. Whether it’s girls’ night or a friend’s birthday, give yourself the “Anytime Test” – If Jesus were physically with you, what would He think? We must actively pursue godliness.
This is just a phase. I’ll change after college. YOLO. Sadly, we’ll be 30 before we know it, still stuck in the same phase. As most of us know by now, we don’t get to choose the phases of our lives. For some reason we’ve gotten the idea that being young means doing crazy things. Realty is that our days are numbered! We must pursue godliness and walk in a manner worthy of our calling, daily. In his letters to Timothy, Paul encourages his young brother, whom he cared so deeply for (just like a son), to remain steadfast in what he knew as truth.
Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.
1 Timothy 4:12
Even in our youthfulness, we must present ourselves as examples of Jesus Christ. How else will the world know of Him? Every day counts. Don’t keep for tomorrow, what you can do today. Instead of going out all night, go to sleep. Keep your mind focused and clear, set on heavenly things, so that you can live the life the Lord intended you to live – an abundant life.
A little partying never hurt anyone. Jesus will love me the same tomorrow. Partying does hurt people. We could look at this in different ways. Physically – usually at parties there’s a lot of alcohol involved. Typical high school, college or even adult parties involve the consumption of a great amount of alcohol. Alcohol does nothing good for your body (minus occasionally for health reasons). A wise man told me when I was “curious” about going out with my friends to parties that drinking is just going to make me gain weight. More than gaining weight because of all of the calories and carbs, alcohol is just not good for your natural body functions. Too much of anything is never good, except for too much Jesus; we could never have enough of Him! Spiritually, partying takes our focus off of whose we are and why we are here. Sometimes doing things just because leads us to a state of a spiritual coma. We lose sight of our purpose. We don’t realize how much we actually are hurting ourselves. When our eyes aren’t focused on Jesus, they are focused on something else. I know I can say I’m guilty of thinking, “Jesus will love me the same tomorrow.” It’s true, He will love us the same tomorrow. Because He’s good and perfect, and we aren’t. His love should compel, control and constrain us in all decisions we make. When we are focused on ourselves, we forget the One who gave His life for us. More than anything else, we hurt our Heavenly Father and Savior SO much when we decide to do things against His will.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:1, 12-14
I’m going so I can be a good example to my non-Christian friends. When I was in college I never really thought this. My “Christian” friends and I would go to parties together and do exactly what all of our non-Christian friends did. We were the friends that felt comfort in doing foolish things together. We were all spiraling downward and enjoyed the ride together. But these days this question comes up a lot. Shouldn’t I just go with my friends or co-workers to happy hour, but I won’t drink, so they can see that I’m different? I know I may step on a lot of toes here, but it’s just food for thought that will hopefully point you to Christ. If there are a group of people intentionally going to get drinks and to drink their worries away after a long week of work, my question to you is – what difference would it really make if you did or didn’t drink along with them? Drinking and parties is what most people do to unwind and to socialize. Will you really be able to spark a fruitful, meaningful conversation about Jesus while all your co-workers are drinking margaritas, while complaining about work and gossiping about other co-workers? Maybe, just maybe there’s another route to take. How about YOU be intentional and ask a co-worker or two to go out to lunch or dinner? Sure if drinks are ordered, that’s fine; the drinks are not the point. To glorify the Lord in all that we do, we must make it clear who we are, especially to the people who we are always around. I am a sinner saved by grace. I am a servant of the Living King. I am a follower of Christ, not of people who live in this world. I stand on the truth – Jesus Christ crucified. And I love people. I want the best for my friends, my brothers and sisters, co-workers, everyone. We shouldn’t blur the lines. Yes, some decisions are harder than others, but are we even trying to make the best, most God-glorifying, intentional decisions, or are we falling for what the world is putting out?