The Joey Chronicles – Path to Freedom / “The Problem Of Getting More”
When Pastor John was growing up he had an imaginary friend named Joey.
These are growing up stories told from Joey’s point of view!
Sermon Principle #4 – “It is not possible to satisfy a fleshly appetite by indulging it”
“Dad, what’s wrong with drinking and smoking?”
Dad looked up from his newspaper and said “What was that, son?”
Joey thought Dad had heard him but just didn’t want to answer.
“I mean, the Bible doesn’t say we shouldn’t drink or smoke, does it? So why do you say it’s so bad?”
The pained expression on Dad’s face told Joey he had pushed it far enough, but then Dad surprised him.
“Dear, what’s for dinner? Can I take you all out to eat?”
Joey’s Mom walked into the room and smiled. “Anytime, dear.”
As Dad drove out of town Joey kept thinking, “Why won’t Dad answer my questions? Am I in trouble?”
Soon they pulled up to a quiet little restaurant and slammed the screen door as Joey and Kathy both tried to be first inside.
Joey got the usual – cheeseburger, french fries, and a chocolate shake. He hoped it would come in one of those big silver cups that seemed to make a shake taste better.
He was surprised when his Dad said to the waitress, “And could we also have a glass of your house red wine?”
“Certainly, sir,” The waitress walked away while everyone looked at Dad in amazement.
“Uh Dad, we don’t drink wine, remember? And what’s a house wine?”
“It just means it’s the kind of wine the restaurant serves that doesn’t cost much.”
“Here we are.” The waitress placed the glass in front of Dad.
Dad looked at Joey and Kathy. “Would you two like a taste?”
“Dear, I don’t think they are old enough…” Mom had that look that made Joey nervous.
Joey took the first sip and said, “Yuck – it’s like Welches Grape Juice only worse!” Kathy tried a sip and put it down quickly after making a face.
“Joey, you asked me a question about why Mom and I have told you not to drink and smoke even though the Bible doesn’t say you shouldn’t.”
He took a sip of the wine and put it down. “There’s nothing wrong with me drinking a little bit of wine.”
“The problem is that if I drink a little I might want a lot more. And if I smoke a little I might want to smoke more. The Bible says I should never drink too much or do anything that would hurt my body by doing it too much.”
“In the Baker family many of your relatives were alcoholics or died from cancer because they drank or smoked a little and then wanted more. They couldn’t stop.”
“And I don’t want that to happen to you.”
Joey learned several lessons at that little countryside restaurant.
He learned wine tastes pretty gross.
He learned some things you just need to leave alone if they can get you in trouble.
And if he drank a little bit, he would want a bit more. And he would start thinking he needed a little bit more to be satisfied – at least that’s what happened to Uncle Herb.
It’s like the guy in Ecclesiastes 5:1 who thought that getting more money would cure his desire for more money. It doesn’t work that way.
“Whoever loves money never has enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.”
With some things it is just better to not to try them than to think that a little bit will make you feel better.
Kathy was the last one out of the restaurant and she yelled “Thank you!” to the waitress who was heading back to the kitchen with dirty dishes and a barely touched glass of red wine.