This weekend I read that Bud Light will soon be releasing Bud Light Lime, and with it will be launching a $35 million dollar ad campaign to promote the product. This past summer I was at a brand conference in Chicago and got a sneak peek at Miller Chill (their new lime beer) and couldn’t help but wonder, “Why spend millions to woo consumers when anyone can just ask a bartender for a piece of real lime?” But what do I know about a launching a new beer product?
What I do know is that it’s BIG business, and that beer itself plays a pretty big role in the lives of a lot of business people. Whether it’s happy hour, business trips, taking clients out to dinner, or just grabbing a cold one on a coworker’s porch in summertime, drinking and work often intersect. In fact, just tonight I met an old coworker who’s in town on business for a beer.
Have you ever wondered if it’s okay for Christians to drink with coworkers or clients? I thought about this a great deal when I was a younger, and I found a simple answer: it depends.
The Bible doesn’t condemn drinking. In fact, Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine and in the 5th chapter of 1Timothy, we find Paul recommending that Timothy occasionally drink some wine for his sour stomach. The only people in the Bible that strictly avoided alcohol were a small sect of Jews called Nazirites (including John the Baptist and Sampson) who followed a very strict set of rules found in Numbers 6. The best summary of the Bible’s recommendations on drinking can be summed up by Proverbs 20:1, “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.”
It’s not that they are bad, but being led astray by them is. We need to be honest about this – does drinking ever get the better of us? Do you find yourself saying things you shouldn’t, embarrassing yourself, driving under the influence, or putting yourself into situations that could jeopardize your marriage or your job? Sure, passing up opportunities to drink with coworkers can be awkward, but not as awkward as letting drinks make a fool of you. If drinking impairs your ability to represent yourself as a follower of Jesus, then opt out of the next happy hour, or go along and just load up on diet coke. You can even find it now with a delicious twist of lime.