When The Devil Rings Your Doorbell, Don't Answer
The recent untimely deaths of celebrities like Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Gerry Rafferty, Jeff Conaway and Mike Starr at relatively young ages reminds us of the fragility of life and why no one should believe they can take on the burden of using alcohol or drugs without paying a price somewhere down the line. In the case of these people, the price was very high indeed for themselves and their loved ones.
Substance abuse is not just a personal self-destructive choice, it affects everyone around those who engage in it. All the people that die from it leave behind folks that cared about them and are likely devastated by their deaths. I could argue for abstinence when it comes to alcohol and drugs based on their deaths, but I'm sure that the vast majority of customers that support these multi-billion dollar businesses would simply dismiss me as some sort of religious nut or anti-substance abuse ideologue. So, I will put it in simpler terms: When the Devil rings you're doorbell, don't answer.
As someone who does not use alcohol or drugs, I am standing on the outside looking in and I know that. It's for that very reason that I want to make it very clear that I am not judging anyone who dies because of substance abuse of any kind. I will not argue my point on moral or ethical grounds. Instead, I will ask you if you are willing to place your fragile life in the hands of a being that is intent on destroying it in any way and every way he can.
Whether you believe in him or not, the Devil is real and knows you better than you think he does. He is that evil salesperson that knows your personal weaknesses. He tries to close the sale in your head that will get you to get involved with whatever self-destructive behavior that he can find which appeals to you the most. Why? I really do not know. Perhaps he wants company in Hell or is just so angry with God that he wants to see the Creator's creations destroy themselves as quickly and efficiently as possible. The one certainty is that the Devil is your enemy and the primary force behind everyone's self-destructive behavior.
We all make choices in life and choosing between God and the Devil is the most important one we will ever make. God offers his love towards us in the form of the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us in Revelation 3:20 (KJV): "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." The Devil does things differently.
The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8 (KJV): "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" Did you get that part about being SOBER and VIGILANT. You cannot be one without the other. Drug and alcohol use can easily lull you into an extremely vulnerable and suggestive state. Before you know it, you are doing things that you never thought you would do. And remember, the Devil is your ADVERSARY (enemy), not your friend.
Both God and the Devil ring your mental doorbell with gifts in hand. God offers eternal life in the hereafter and the chance for an abundant and fulfilling life here on Earth. The Devil offers an instant and very temporary gratification that comes with a huge bill you will have to pay at some point on Earth and in eternity. While this may sound like a very simplistic argument to someone who does not believe in God or the Devil, it is a fact and involves the choices we make each and every day.
Dr. R.G. Lee was minister of the Bellevue Baptist Church of Memphis, Tennessee, for many years before his passing and regularly preached a sermon entitled Payday Someday. During his sermon he often repeated the phrase, "Oh what a price we pay for just one riotous day." Sometimes it's just that simple when we answer the doorbell, find out it's the Devil and allow him to influence our lives and decisions.
It may be that when you first start using alcohol and drugs you might be able to go on for years before that initial decision catches up with you, but that is not always the case. There are many instances when someone's first use is their last. Each year many young people die of alcohol poisoning or of a drug overdose after their first introduction to these things. They do not get the chance to spend years on the decline. All the more reason to keep alcohol and drugs our of your life from Day One when they are offered to you.
My heart goes out to those who have died because of their involvement with alcohol and drugs. Even more so to their loved ones. Again, I do not judge them for their actions. I just wish that they had said no to the Devil when he first came calling. Having been brought up during the 1960s, I have lost many friends and acquaintances to alcohol and drugs. For that reason I know first hand how high the Devil's price is for what seems like a little fun. I hope you will consider my words and make the right decision.
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