Have you noticed that an invisible barrier often exists between drinkers and abstainers? Some social barriers or limitations may be placed on nondrinkers by the drinker. As an abstainer I have found this divide hinders me in spending much time with certain loved ones. I sense that abstainers can make some drinkers feel uncomfortable. And we know how drinkers can decline invitations to nondrinking events including spiritual activities.
Those who share the alcohol habit may have a secular bond even as believers have a bond in the Spirit. (Eph 2.11-22; 4.3-6). The “bar room buddies” bond however, may be more limited in scope. Is it more secular camaraderie, fellowship-lite? Is it more recreational than based on core moral values? One may buy his buddies a beer but not dare leave his billfold on the table while going to the rest room.
My point is, if you are shunned by drinkers at work do not give up on the relationships. God can open a door in His time! Our friends need to see that Jesus has a difference in our lives. The world loves to pull a Christian down morally. Then they call him a “hypocrite.”
“Finally,my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” (Eph 6.10).
By the way, I have a good Christian friend who occasionally has a glass of wine with work associates. It has not caused any tension or distance between us. Our bond in Christ trumps any drinker-nondrinker divide! We are believers first. We respect the other’s personal convictions. Though I believe that he is harming his Christian witness in a jaded, drunken culture, that is his decision. He will be in heaven as surely as I will be – saved by grace not human works.