Vol.II No.VIII Pg.8
September 1965

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

An Alcoholic, for the moment brutally honest, once asked me, "How can I 'give myself to the Lord'? I do not have myself to give!"

Laying aside the problem of when, or if, an alcoholic really does completely loose control of himself and become purely a "sick" man, this question focuses attention upon the moral responsibility of each one of us to take and keep control of ourselves - while this is still possible.

How, indeed, can you "give yourself to the Lord" if you do not fully possess yourself?

Paul wrote, "All things (within the realm of 'right'-rft) are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." (1 Cor.6: 12) I will not be brought under the power of any! What a declaration of self-control, of indomitable will. Even though it is right within itself, I will not allow temporal things (meats for the belly, vs.13) to destroy my hopes for eternity. I will not allow personal, sensual appetites to cause me to desecrate my body, mind, or my soul -- for I belong to the Lord.(v2O)

The alcoholic has allowed to become a slave I to drink. There is no point in arguing with him that this is a bad thing, and can only bring more unhappiness. He knows all that better than you. But finding the way out -- aye, there's the question! And there are many others bound by less devastating habits (?) which are nonetheless slaves -- and equally unable to "give themselves" to God. I know dozens of men who are bound to a little roll of paper and tobacco. (I will not mention the women, for it hurts me to think of them in this way) Some have told me that they want to "quit" -- and I believe them. They say they realize their influence as parents, teachers, members of the church, etc., is hurt. They would like to "give themselves" -- but they do not have themselves to give. They belong, in part, to a filthy harmful habit.

"I will not be brought under the power of any."

Would you be free -- truly in possession of self?? (And what mockery is "freedom" without self-possession?) Then shun the first steps that close the slave's chain about you; or being now chained, resolve to regain yourself while there is yet time.