“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

Heed That Warning

(Please read Galatians 5:10-21)

July 6

A few years ago there was some debate about a law requiring a warning on the label of certain alcoholic beverages concerning the dangers of improperly using those beverages. Some people were upset at the implication that those beverages could cause them to lose control of themselves and become a danger to other people.

But it was undeniable that excessive drinkers had caused 100,000 deaths on our streets and highways during the previous year, plus billions of dollars of medical expenses, property damages and the like.

Some critics maintain that such a warning does no good because a person is not likely to read, understand or remember the warning after a few drinks. But the indirect benefits could be very great, in that it would constitute official recognition that alcohol is a dangerous drug whose use can have dire consequences.

It’s hard to see a valid reason to get upset about warnings on dangerous products. We are glad, for example, that some insecticides are labeled “Poison.” We may already know that, but the warning reminds us to be very careful in using the product.

We can be encouraged to realize that this country is losing patience with drunks. It would be hard for a surviving parent, child or spouse to agree that drinkers in general have the self-discipline many drinkers claim to have. We can hope that the labeling law is a step in the direction of bringing the country’s drinking problems under control.

Let’s do all we can to convince drinkers that they are dealing with dangerous stuff that can endanger their lives – here and hereafter.

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