More than two months ago I went out with some friends to celebrate the birthday of one of them. We ended up going to dance in a discotheque. All was going well until a guy that I didn’t know asked me to dance and, since I had been drinking, I danced indecently. What I did has been tormenting me ever since, and I don’t know who to talk to about it because I feel very dirty. I was brought up to behave better than that. It’s eating away at me!

Dear Friend,

Your conscience is bothering you because you know you did something wrong. We weren’t there, so we can’t judge your dancing, but your conscience is the best judge of what happened. You are probably also ashamed of your behavior because your friends witnessed what happened, and you care about what they think about you.

You say that it happened because you were drinking. What might happen to you the next time you drink with your friends? Women just like you find themselves sexually assaulted, physically harmed, robbed or even pregnant because they were out drinking with friends. Is it possible that you should consider this experience as a warning to prevent you from worse consequences in the future?

That reminds me of what happened to my stepfather years ago. He was out drinking with friends when some guys decided to rob him. They beat him up and left him on the side of the road. As a result of the beating, he was paralyzed and bedridden for the rest of his life. Fortunately this doesn’t happen to most people, but because alcohol slows down messages in the brain, people who have been drinking are more likely to take risks without being aware of any danger.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.”(1) The word debauchery means not having complete control of self. So when you lose control of your actions, and do things you would not ordinarily do, it is evidence that you are drunk. Drunkenness is a sin against God that brings negative natural consequences, such as hangovers and the shame that you are now experiencing.

The good news is that God will forgive you for your sin. He gave His Son Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for your sin and mine. All of us have sinned, and in God’s eyes no sin is dirtier than others. When we are truly sorry for what we have done, and we ask God for His forgiveness in Jesus’ name, He cleans up all the dirty stuff and gives us a fresh start.

The only way to get back your good reputation with your friends is to change your behavior. Everyone makes mistakes, but a mistake doesn’t have to turn into a lifestyle. You can make a decision about drinking that will insure that your lifestyle is free from the kind of shame that you now feel. Make that decision today!

We wish you well,

1 Eph 5:18