Recently we talked with a preteen girl and her father. Their family lives in the Western part of the United States. They have been spending some time discussing the pressures that kids face today to use alcohol. And she's learning ahead of time how she can handle this on her own if it comes up in her life. Here's some of what they've talked about:
Jenny: Drinking takes control of people. If you aren't in control, you are not thinking for yourself. Then you can't do the things you need to do well - like taking tests or performing in dance or sports or music. That's why I think drinking isn't good.
Dad: Yes, being in control means thinking for yourself all of the time. I've come to the place where the only thing I want controlling me is God. I don't believe in trying to share God's control with anything. Drinking alcohol would take my eyes off God - the very One I love the most.
Jenny: The only real power is God. Letting your life be controlled by drinking is making alcohol into another god.
Dad: I only want one God in my life. That God is Love. Divine Love is the power that is only good. God is so good that He is the only good. He doesn't share His power with alcohol, so you won't ever find true goodness in it.
Jenny: If your friends start drinking, they might want to convince you to drink, too. It's really less grown-up to drink when other people try to make you do it, because then you're depending on other people to make your decisions for you, just like when you were a baby.
Dad: Being alcohol-dependent is the opposite of being independent. But what if you've already been drinking? What if you already feel out of control?
Jenny: Well, you can stop because there is really only one power. If you remember that, and listen to God, then you can stop doing wrong things and stop making the wrong decision.
Dad: I have found out that listening to God brings His power into your life. Listening to God is satisfying and solid. As your life is filled with God, who is divine Love and divine Truth, the temptation to do things that hurt you is washed away.
Jenny: Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). The Bible also says, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4:13). Science and Health says, "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." [Editors' note: Jenny is referring to a sentence on Page 494 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," written by Mary Baker Eddy.] God loves us and only has good for us.
Dad: I love that quote, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me," because it shows that you have help if you're tempted to start drinking or if you drink already. It explains what we all really are as the image of God. The perfect you and me, expressing all-powerful God, doesn't need to worship any other power. Feeling the power of God and the presence of God brings the law of God to bear on your thoughts. And then your life follows in line with God's goodness.
Jenny: It's nice to know anyone can have the strength to do anything good with God's help.
God doesn't share His power with alcohol,
so you won't find
real goodness in it.