Lately my life has been a disaster…. I’ve had problems with my wife, and we are in the beginning stages of a divorce…. I have gotten in the habit of drinking almost every day, and one of those times when I was drunk… I stole some electronic equipment from a friend. I ended up returning it, but my conscience won’t leave me in peace.

I know that is the price you pay for doing bad things. How I would love to have a divine power to come inside of me and help me to change once and for all!

Dear Friend,

How wonderful to hear that your conscience is strong and active! You have the chance now to pay attention to what your conscience is saying and begin the change that you so desperately desire. However, if you choose to ignore your conscience now, or if you decide that our counsel is too difficult to follow, you will run the risk of paralyzing your conscience and rendering it ineffective in your future. At that point, you will have destroyed the warning system that God gave you for your own protection.

You are careful to explain that you stole the equipment while you were under the influence of alcohol, and that you regretted your actions when you were no longer under the influence. That means that your conscience did not prick you while you were under the influence, but rather when you were sober. The common denominator in both your conduct and your thinking is alcohol.

Whether or not you have thought of yourself this way before, you are an alcoholic. Alcoholics who believe that they can control their drinking are deceiving themselves. If you are serious about changing your life, you must decide to stop drinking completely. Otherwise, you will be sabotaging any other efforts you plan to make to change your life.

Nevertheless, we have hope for you! You can have a better life. You can stop drinking. Thousands of people just like you have successfully ended their dependence on alcohol through the help that God offers.

However, beginning a relationship with God is not a magic bullet to get you what you want. If you decide to ask God to help you, it must be because you recognize that He created you, He designed a productive and rewarding life for you, and He gave His only Son to pay the penalty for your sins. You feel guilty about things you have done, and you know you deserve to be punished for those things. But because Christ died for your sins, you don’t have to pay the penalty for them. Of course, you will face the natural consequences (such as having to face the friend whose equipment you stole), but you do not have to pay for eternity. You can accept the forgiveness that God will give you if you ask, and you can have assurance of going to Heaven when you die.

God expects you to do your part to overcome your addiction to alcohol. Ask Him to lead you to a group such as Alcoholics Anonymous, where you can have daily contact with others who have fought this same battle and won. With God’s divine power and your daily interaction with those people, you can change your present and your future.

We wish you well,

Linda and Charles