I’m Strong Enough in My Recovery that I Can Have Just One Drink
Or what fellowship has light with darkness? . . . What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God. 2 Corinthians 6:14-16
I’ve been thinking that maybe I can have just one drink. I hear this not infrequently among those who’ve been in recovery for a while. Those who say it genuinely like the taste of their beer or wine and they miss it. It’s been a year or two of abstinence. They’ve done well and now, they feel like they’re at the point where they could have a drink without returning to their previous overuse.
It always sounds absurd when another alcoholic says it. At the same time though, I get it. I’ve been in recovery for seven years and I too have that same thought occasionally. I’ve come so far and changed so much that I think I could probably handle it. I know it’s a bad idea for others, but I’m stronger than they are, right?
Whenever I start thinking like this, I must step back and consider what it sounds like when I hear another alcoholic or addict saying it. It is ridiculous. It is absurd. Someone who’s struggled with drugs or alcohol should never consider just one drink or just one pill to be safe. I know many who’ve taken just one drink, which has turned into a full-blown relapse every time. I know of no alcoholic who’s successfully returned to normal alcohol consumption. An alcoholic cannot have alcohol, period.
He may not have been speaking of drugs or alcohol, but this seems to be Paul’s tone in today’s passage. In it, he said that we cannot tolerate evil in our lives. Light and dark cannot coexist. We’re temples of the living God, and as such, we should be filled with him. We cannot also fill ourselves with the self-destructive. We can’t be sober and drink at the same time. It’s just not possible.
This of course, isn’t just about alcohol. As Christians, we’re to be filed with Christ, following his will for our lives. We cannot follow him and fill ourselves with evil at the same time. Our self-destructive path and his path lie in different directions and the two are not compatible. Daily then, we must be honest about those things we’re tolerating in our lives that are contrary to our faith. Then, we must do whatever it takes to abandon them to follow what we know to be right. If we’re truly temples of God, we must live like it.