How often have you heard somebody say, “A little won’t hurt”! Could that be true? I remember a few years ago, a friend wanted to share some beauty cream she had picked up for a good price. She had read that this would help keep her complexion free of wrinkles and looking nice. I looked at the ingredients and the last ingredient on it was arsenic! I told my friend I was in no way going to use that cream, and what do you think she said? “A little won’t hurt”! I did some research and learned that young ladies back in the Middle Ages used arsenic to keep their faces nice and white. What a sad thing.
Let’s look at another occurrence which brings on the same reaction of “Oh, a little won’t hurt.” But, sad to say, a little does hurt—it is just that you cannot see the damage until it is almost too late. Many times, it is too late. That little bit has been ruining the fine machinery which the Lord has given to us.
A Striking Case of Moderate Drinking
“Here is a story that may interest you … . It is not hearsay but an experience in my own (I. S.Ritchie, M.D.) medical practice.
“A prominent young man of this city died recently of ‘moderate’ drinking. He had never been ‘drunk’—only ‘happy’; but after three years of it he paid for it with his life. I was called at the last minute, but nothing could be done. He did not respond to any kind of treatment. I never knew why until I saw his body opened at the autopsy and viewed his organs. His heart was but a mass of degenerative fat instead of muscle. His liver was double enlarged, pitted and hardened and scarred—chronic alcoholic hypertrophic cirrhosis. His lungs appeared sclerotic, as did his kidneys, and were irregular and pale. His stomach and bowels were pale and fatty externally, but congested and reddened and thickened throughout the mucous membrane lining. His spleen and glands were swollen and congested. I had known him for twenty years and never knew that he drank. He was never ill, but told his wife, ‘If I am ever sick, call Dr. Ritchie.’ And so she did, but it was too late. When I arrived I worked with might and main and called another physician, but no therapy or heart stimulation or adrenalin had any effect. I have told you the reason. The last three years they said he had drunk moderately but daily.
“The autopsy surgeon removed a piece of tissue from each of the above-named organs and sent these to the pathologist in charge of the laboratory of an accredited Class A Medical College. A microscopic study of these organs revealed the irreparable damage alcohol had done to the vital units or cells comprising these organs. No other cause for death could be discovered.” (I. S. Ritchie, M.D., …) Abundant Health, Julius Gilbert White, 273, 274, © 1951 by author.
It is often the unseen damage that will kill in the long run. We are fearfully and wonderfully made and these so-called, “little things” do affect our bodies. Whether it be a little kill or a big kill, either way it is still a kill and it is sinning against our Maker who has said, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13).
Another writer, Jethro Kloss, states the following:
“… Alcohol is certainly a snake in the grass, it is stimulating to the senses, makes a person feel happy when he is miserable, makes him feel strong for a while, but weakness follows. Alcohol numbs the nerves to such an extent that a man feels warm when he is cold. It makes him quite active while he is under its hellish influence, but there is great collapse as the effects wear off. It surely mocks a man and makes a fool of him. The wisest man that ever lived said that ‘wine is a mocker’ (Proverbs 20:1).” Back to Eden, 512, by Jethro Kloss, Back to Eden Books, 1982.
The young man mentioned above who died young stated that liquor made him feel happy, but what a dreadful end that may have been prevented.
It may not seem like it while we are indulging ourselves, but “a little bit does hurt.” When you hurt your body, which is the temple of the Lord, you are serving the god of this world who will accept your service at the cost of your health and possibly your life.
“… choose you this day whom ye will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).