So You Are Sick – Really?

Some people may call you sick, but the Lord calls you a drunkard.

I have observed of recent time that far too many people of Reformed persuasion apply the term sick. ness in place of drunkenness to a person with a heavy drinking problem.


Today we call them alcoholics: in my younger days we called them “drunken bums.” The term is not very complimentary, but it is a fact.

Some years ago the drunkards originated mostly in the saloons; now they come from taverns, supposedly nice places of social gathering. Call these places what you will, they are still saloons spewing out the degraded drunkards—both men and women.

If drunkenness is a sickness, people bring it on themselves, thinking it manly and fun to drink booze; bit by bit they bind themselves with a terrible sick. ness. It is a sickness they purchase through a bottle. Insane buying!

Alcoholism is a sickness most doctors will not treat. They don’t want you in their office; strange! It is a sickness the family wants to keep a secret as much as possible. Drunkenness breaks up homes, causes marriages to fail, creates poverty to the nth degree; tragic!

Families are ashamed of the “sick” person—very strange. The authorities may put you in jail for that sickness—what, no justice! The boss fires you—the brute! Drunkenness makes the person very obnoxious—people shun him. The sickness makes him a slave of degradation—pity. The above and many other uncomplimentary facts pertain to that “sickness.”

No, my friend, that person is not sick. He is a sinning drunkard. Now comes the saddest and most heart-rending fact of all. Cod says, “No . . . drunkard . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:21; I Cor. 6,10).

What! I am sick and God is going to send me to hell? My heart goes out to you who are enslaved to drink, but as with any other sin, once we are possessed by it, it is hard to free ourselves from it.

I realize that all this sounds harsh and heartless but sometimes it is the harsh and heartless facts that make us see the error of our way and cry out, “God be merciful to me, a sinner.”

This has not been written to degrade and belittle you, but with sincere prayers that in some measure these few words may open your eyes, so that you see there is hope for you.

Our Lord is merciful, kind and forgiving, but we must admit our sins and realize there is no hope except through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Go to Him; confess your sin and pray for forgiveness; beg Him to relieve you of this destructive habit.

By yourself you cannot do it: you need the Savior‘s help to overcome your problem. The problem will be solved as the Holy Spirit brings you back to peace and joy. Pray, pray, pray not to be led into temptations. Fall on your knees daily before God, with your family and loved ones, and pray for strength and help until you have been relieved of your drinking problem.

Unless the Lord dries you out you will go into a drunkard’s grave. Once more, in humble warning: no drunkard shall enter into heaven! God says so.

Henry Boender is a retired professional photographer living in Lansing, Illinois.