Proverbs 20:1 (ESV)
Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

In this verse King Solomon relates to us the issues of indulging in alcoholic drink. While intoxicated, some speak of things probably best left unsaid. They find themselves not holding personal opinions to themselves. At times they even toss insults to the innocent. The higher the level of drinking -- a person finds themselves out of control. They want to argue and cause strife. Some even go as far as starting a physical altercation. King Solomon finishes the verse by saying that a person who is led astray by the temptation of alcohol is not wise.

In 1 Corinthians 10:13 the Apostle Paul writes, �No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.�

There are many addictions in life common to man including alcoholism. Like any other addiction alcoholism destroys the life of a person. Families are often torn apart by the actions of the addict. My father was an alcoholic. My mother divorced my father shortly after I was 2 years old out of fear for my life and her life. My father�s drinking caused him to mock others and say horrid things. My father would start fights and became involved in fist brawls. My father would beat and abuse my mother because of his uncontrolled drinking. King Solomon was right on when he said the person who is led astray by alcohol is not wise.

My father passed away several years ago. I went to the funeral and it was the first time I had ever seen my father. It is odd seeing a person you know to be your father and yet you don�t recognize him or know much about him. I do know my father was married several times and the marriages ended the same way -- in divorce due to his drinking. I was contacted by a social worker once while my father was alive. He was found homeless on the streets. His uncontrolled drinking had left him disoriented. His clothing was tattered, he was without shoes and his feet were raw. More than likely he had been in a fight and lost by the condition he was found in. He was in a city where he did not live. He wasn�t lucid and could not provide details about himself. Oddly, he knew he had a son with the same name as his. It wasn�t difficult for the social worker to track me down, since my name isn�t common. Sadly I had to tell the social worker I knew knowing about my father, but I could put her in touch with one of his brothers or sisters. She then shocked me with her next question, �Could you tell me how I could locate your brother Luther?� It was the first time I knew my father had another son. There may even be more siblings, but I don�t know who they are.

The consequences of an addiction are great. The addiction affects the person, the family and friends. The person loses control of their life and it is handed over to the addiction. I can testify my mother lived out of fear. I can testify it was difficult growing up without a father. It was difficult when my mother repeated her mistake by marrying another alcoholic who left when my brother was born.

Yes, addiction has consequences and destroys people. If you know someone who has an addiction or if you face and addiction yourself, seek out help. May God be with you in your struggle and provide a way of escape.

Yesterday would have been my father's birthday.