Thursday, November 5, 2009

Beer & Coffee

(Before reading this post, it might be helpful to keep this disclaimer in mind)

If someone were to come to you and say, "Every night I have two beers before I go to sleep, because I really have a hard time sleeping and the beers help me," how would you respond to that?

My guess is that for many readers of this blog, we'd regard this to be dangerous, unwise and potentially (or definitely) sinful. For those who tend to think that way, I'd pose this follow-up question:

If it's not ok to have a couple of beers to help you get to sleep, then why is it ok to have a couple of cups of coffee every morning in order to help you get going?

Please understand: I'm not advocating alcohol use or condemning coffee use, just trying to think through some things.

And I'd love your help in thinking it through; leave a comment and let me know what you think.


  1. I have some thoughts about this. Firstly, the two are very different. We must check our own hearts in these areas and if there's a question of sin then of course we should refrain. However, beer and coffee are just so different. How many peoples' lives have been ruined by the effects of drinking too much coffee? How many people destroy themselves and their families due to coffee addiction? Do people spend large quantities of their money on coffee only to leave the bills unpaid? (Note: some people probably do waste a lot of money on expensive Starbucks coffee and coffee drinks!) For those who know me well, you know that I wouldn't be too keen on Joe drinking two beers every night (the man already can't keep his eyes open)! Really though, alcohol has had such negative effects on my family and on me that I just don't want to be around it. However, if someone was able to drink JUST 2 beers or just one glass of wine I don't find that sinful at all!

    I have heard people say that, "caffeine is the Christian's drug of choice." I don't really like how that sounds, do you?

  2. I absolutely agree that coffee and beer are two very different things. Alcohol is potentially destructive in so many ways, and that is very serious. I hope my post did not trivialize in any way the tragedy of alcohol abuse and the devastation that it wreaks on families.

    I wanted to post this to get the take of others, because when I asked Michelle about the alcohol before bed thing, she said it would be bad because it would be creating a dependency on something for which God says He will provide.

    That made me think about coffee, since that essentially does the same thing, it just gives energy as opposed to giving sleep. Of course you know that she's a coffee drinker, so I have no bone to pick with people who drink coffee daily. I regard it to be an area of Christian liberty. For me it was just a thought-provoker which I figured I'd pass on for others to think about.

    And I agree that saying coffee is a Christian's drug of choice is not something I'd want to say. But as I ponder Paul's words about not being enslaved to anything, I do sometimes wonder about where coffee fits in there.

    As people who know me are aware, I'm not a coffee drinker. So any of the coffee drinkers on the blog (and I know there are plenty!) feel free to chime in on this.

  3. By the way, the reference to Paul I had in mind is 1 Corinthians 6:12 --

    “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.

  4. Larry,

    You definitely didn't trivialize anything. For me, with my history, it's hard to compare the two. However, I'd enjoy hearing others opinions as well!