After years of trying to communicate to all my family and friends how Philip had met the Lord… how God straightened out my life… set me free from alcohol and cigarettes and womanizing… I couldn’t even swear or be vulgar any more… not only has God made me this wonderful new person but I am going to heaven!!! You can have all this too… all you have to do is…. yada yada yada….
hmmmmm… no one seem very interested… the word got around pretty quickly… “Phil got religion… he no longer smokes or drinks or chews… or runs with girls who do.” … “Stay away from him… he’ll drive you nuts!”
I was obviously missing something here. After several years, I finally saw this thing about drinking… it was totally different from what I had first seen… God turned the diamond for me… As wonderful as AA is, and all the ways they have helped alcoholics for so many years… even calling on a “higher power” to help… I finally realized that my freedom from alcohol was totally different…. I could not stand up in front of people and say… “I am an alcoholic… I will always be an alcoholic…”
When I stood in front of people to tell my story I would say… “I was an alcoholic… I will never be an alcoholic again… I am a new creature in Christ… a whole new creation… I will never be drunk again, by His marvelous grace.”
As I looked at what the scripture said about drinking, I realized it was not saying “thou shalt not drink”... it was saying “do not get drunk”. Major difference there. It eventually led me into another understanding… and a completely different testimony… Lots-a-more stories, of course. On the ‘morrow.