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Wine That Used To Bring Freedom Became Bondage

In her blog post titled "So I Quit Drinking," Christian writer Sarah Bessey gives a powerful example of habits that, perhaps not sinful in themselves, become sinful to us. She begins by admitting that she had been a lover and consumer of wine throughout adulthood, and it "never bothered [her] in the least."

Bessey continues:

[But] I have learned that when you are walking with Jesus, the Holy Spirit is always up to something. And when it comes to conviction, I have found the Spirit to be gentle but relentless. Change and transformation is an ongoing process … We begin to sense that this Thing that used to be okay is no longer okay. The Thing that used to mean freedom has become bondage …
Because a year ago, I knew God wanted me to stop drinking. … Oh, I had all of the excuses for why I could keep enjoying my wine in the evenings—I work hard, I give so much, I'm not an alcoholic, I'm never hung-over, it doesn't affect my life, it's social, it's fun, it's in the Bible for pity's sake! I began to be haunted by the writer of Hebrews who said, " … let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
I began to wonder why I was resisting throwing off the "weight" of alcohol, why I was so determined to keep running my race with this habit that had begun to feel so heavy. In my soul, I could see the Holy Spirit practically jogging alongside of me to say every now and again: "Aren't you ready to put that heavy weight down yet? I think it's time you stopped this one. … It looks to me like it's getting heavier the longer you hold on."

Bessey mentions the dangers of legalism, but then she concludes, "But in our steering away from legalism, I wonder if we left the road to holiness or began to forget that God also cares about what we do and how we do it and why. Conviction is less about condemnation than it is about invitation. It's an invitation into freedom. It's an invitation into wholeness."

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