Three common American sins are drunkenness, gluttony, and disrespect for parents. Simply put, Americans in general live lives of excess. Americans as a whole drink too much alcohol, eat too much food, and fail to honor those to whom honor is due. This should not be the case for a nation with such a strong Christian history! But all you have to do is watch the commercials during a weekend ball game to see it is true. Next time you watch a football or baseball game this fall, count how many beer and food commercials you see. Look at the ginormous portion sizes of the meals that are advertised and sold at restaurants. Look at the way alcohol is falsely sold as the way to happiness and good times. See how many television sitcoms are plugged during the game, shows where parents, especially fathers, look like fools and children appear to be the smart ones. Drunkenness, gluttony, and disrespect for authority figures is all around us. Shouldn’t Christians be different from this sinful culture?
Of course we should, and today’s passage in Proverbs speaks to these very sins. Apparently these temptations were a problem even in ancient times, or else the Bible would not have warned us against them. We are told to take the path of the wise man, and to let Scripture and not the world guide our passions and desires (Proverbs 23:19). That means not only avoiding drunkenness and gluttony ourselves, but staying away from other people who practice those sins (v. 20). Their lifestyles of excess will only lead us to physical and spiritual poverty (v. 21). How many young people have ruined their lives by adopting an addiction to partying in high school or college and never growing out of it as adults? This is not the path of godliness in Christ! At the same time, Christians should honor and listen to their parents (v. 22). This brings joy to their parents, themselves, and our Father in heaven (vv. 24-25). God invented the concept of family and commanded children to honor and obey their parents.
Are you buying into God’s truth and wisdom (v. 23) for your life? Then decide now to avoid a life of excess and disrespect and instead live a life that honors Christ by honoring your parents and the body that God has given you. As Christians, our parents are given to guide and lead us (Ephesians 6:4) and our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Let’s show both our parents and our bodies the respect that they deserve.
The Text (Proverbs 23:19-25)
19 Hear, my son, and be wise; And guide your heart in the way.
20 Do not mix with winebibbers, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.
22 Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice.
Questions to Think About
- Why do you think that so many teenagers get drawn into the party lifestyle? How can you avoid this common sin trap?
- Do you eat too much? Explain.
- How are you doing with honoring and respecting your parents?