Way back when I was in high school, we used to think it was so cool, and fun to drink excessively. Thinking back, its dang near humiliating at how we used to act!
We’d tell our parents (sorry mom) that we needed five dollars to go to the movies, then we’d go straight to the county line and buy a two liter (yes they used to come in two liter bottles) Sun Country wine cooler. Not to share, mind you, but one a piece. After that, we still had enough money left over to buy gas and cigarettes. FIVE DOLLARS! You can’t buy anything with five dollars these days!
We’d go to Kenny’s brothers house to hang out. For whatever reason, when Kenny and I would consume too much wine cooler, we’d always want to wear our friend John’s retainer. Yes, you read that right. His retainer! He’d let us too! We’d take turns putting it in our mouths and try to talk. Ok, that’s so disgusting to me now! Eeww!
I guess we thought John’s opinion was THE standard, because, if memory serves me correctly, we’d get John to be the judge on which one of us sounded most like Regan from The Exorcist… after she was possessed. Why in the world we wanted to sound like that I’ll never know, and I’m not really sure why we thought John was an expert on possession imitations? Teenage thought processing will always and forever be a mystery. Add party favors to that thought pattern and it’s downright scary! This example alone is why excessive drinking is a really bad idea!
You see, when Kenny and I drank, we would apparently forget how cool we were, and want to be like John, or at least get his approval. We wanted to meet John’s standards. That sort of thing happens in life a lot WITHOUT excessive drinking.
Anything can affect our thought processing, whether its drugs, alcohol, music, tv shows, or people; and when we allow the wrong things to influence our thinking, then often times we end up living up to the wrong standard. Like my friend, and former youth pastor used to say, “Trash in. Trash out.”.
The same way excessive drinking changes the way you think about, or see things, the same goes for anything we ‘take in’. It matters what we watch, what we listen to, what we read, and who we surround ourselves with. What we take in the most, is usually what sets our standard.
God and the world have way different standards! It’s so easy to let those ‘little’ things creep in, and the next thing you know, you’re wearing John’s retainer! I don’t know about you, but I’m going to try and be more careful about what I take in. If I take in more of the things of God, then I’ll be more likely to live by His standards and not the world’s. By who’s standards are you living?
Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love these things you show that you do not really love God; for all these worldly things, these evil desires—the craze for sex, the ambition to buy everything that appeals to you, and the pride that comes from wealth and importance—these are not from God. They are from this evil world itself. And this world is fading away, and these evil, forbidden things will go with it, but whoever keeps doing the will of God will live forever. 1 John 2:15-17