Human habits – Alcohol, drugs and smoking

Humans habits are a recurrent pattern of behaviour. It is something repeated over and over in a person’s life usually because the person enjoys it. Some habits become a addiction where we become enslaved to the habit – to stop it would cause severe trauma. Drug, alcohol and smoking can all become addictions. But even when they are not, for example, social drinking of alcohol – what does the Bible say about them?


Despite the claims of some people – drinking alcohol is not wrong (not a sin). Nowhere in the Bible does it say that consumption of alcohol is not allowed by God.

Consider this scene of the coming kingdom of God:

God gave wine as a blessing:

At special occasions and other celebrations wine can be consumed.

Jesus used wine to represent his blood at the last supper.

If alcohol was a forbidden substance it would not have been used to commemorate his sacrifice.

Israel was a wine-producing country. The winepresses bursting with new wine were considered a sign of blessing.

Alcohol – the warnings

Despite alcohol not being banned from being consumed it needs to be used with discretion. The following are some warnings about alcohol:

1.     Drunkenness is condemned by the Bible

The Bible talks about getting drunk from wine.

The instructions are clear – we should not get drunk from alcohol. Rather we should fill ourselves with the Spirit of God. This means to fill our minds with godly thoughts and activities. God’s word in the Bible should be directing our minds not the mind altering influences of alcohol or other drugs.

Alcohol gives a temporary “high” whereas being filled with the spirit of God produces lasting joy! In Christ, we have a better joy, higher and longer lasting to cure any depression, monotony or tension we may have.

2.     Loosing self-control is condemned by the Bible

Drinking wine or alcohol to excess is strongly condemned in the Bible. It can lead to you loosing self-control which is not allowed for a believer. It can make you look foolish.

3.     Drinking is only a temporary escape from this world.

Drinking alcohol to excess is only a temporary escape from this world.

The soothing comfort of alcohol is only temporary. Real relief comes from dealing with the causes of the sorrow and the strife and complaints by turning to God for peace. Don’t lose yourself in alcohol; find yourself in God!

4.     Alcohol can destroy a person’s efficiency.

5. Alcohol dulls the senses; it limits clear judgment.

6. Drinking to excess can lead to negative consequences

We can make mistakes that we will regret by drinking to excess.

Drugs and smoking

Reading through the Bible you will find no mention of smoking and drug-taking. Despite this, there are a number of principles that can be applied to these habits.

(note: “drugs” does not refer to prescription drugs but rather to mind-altering substances taken for leisure use).

  1. We should allow the Spirit of God to govern our lives

There are no benefits from taking drugs like heroin, cocaine, etc. It doesn’t matter whether a person is addicted to these drugs or taking them occasionally, they go against the commands of God. There are two reasons for this:

  1. Taking drugs mean the user is denying the power of God in his life. He or she is allowing their life to be directed by the hallucinatory power of these drugs.
  2. You lose self-control when you take drugs. God always requires us to be in control so that we don’t sin against his commands. You may make many mistakes you will later regret. Drug abuse has led to many evils such as crime and broken families.

2. The believers body is a temple of God

Excessive alcohol intake, smoking or drug abuse can lead to a healthy body being eaten away by disease. Such a self-vandalised body is not an appropriate dwelling place for the Holy Spirit.

What is not realised even by the habitual taker of drugs (and smoking), is that he has set himself or herself on a course of moral, spiritual and physical deterioration which may result in irreparable damage to the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys and bladder; or the victim can find himself suffering from asthma, serious palpitation or even paralysis of the lower extremities. Deliberately polluting one’s body is not contributing to the holiness God requires.

3. We can stop these habits by making the decision

If we have made mistakes taking drugs or smoking or excessive alcohol intake it is never too late to change our ways.


[a] John 2:6 Greek two to three metretes (probably about 75 to 115 liters)