Drunk people suffer better

Drunk people suffer better.

Don’t tune me out.

I was severely challenged this week by Robbie Johnson’s call to suffer from 1 Peter. We don’t go looking for pain; but we have to stop wasting our lives avoiding it.

I kept seeing this image of the butter knife in my head. Why are we running from the butter knives of rejection when our forefathers joyfully endured the swords of martyrdom, while saying, “Oh that I had a thousand lives, that I would give them all up for Jesus?”

When I thought about the radical commitment of our persecuted faith family around the world it hit me. Our lives are far too dry.

I kept thinking about the ancient proverb that says to “give strong drink” to a suffering and dying man. Lacking the pain killers we have today, of course, an afflicted man would drink a strong drink to help him deal with the pain, the threats, and the fear confronting him. Drunk people don’t experience suffering the same way that dry people do.

It’s the same reason a lot of white guys need a little “help” before they hit the dance floor. Lacking the skills, the alcohol helps them lower their inhibitions and step out, since you’d have to be drunk to look like they do in public.

But drunk people don’t care.

And that’s the point. And, to some degree, that’s the secret to suffering.

In Ephesians 5 the apostle Paul exhorts us to not get drunk with alcohol, but instead “be filled with the Spirit.” What a fascinating comparison. In some way the experience of encountering the Holy Spirit is like being drunk. You come “under the influence” of something else. You lose natural inhibitions; you have more boldness; your tongue gets loosed; you stop worrying about what people think; you can take a hit; and you do what you never would have done under normal conditions.

That’s just it. We’ll rarely embrace suffering under normal conditions. So stop living under normal conditions; be filled with the Spirit. You’ll always run from the butter knife of rejection under normal conditions. So stop living under normal conditions; be filled with the Spirit.

Christians have been far too dry. And dull. No wonder we run from suffering. No wonder people settle for a bottle or an herb when they need a little relief from the affliction, stress, and boredom of life.

What a pity.

You were made for so much more.

That’s why I dare you to go have an Ephesians 5:18-filled-with-the-Spirit-experience, and watch what happens. You just might suffer, but that’s okay. Because filled people suffer better.

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