I’ve heard from so many Christians and read so many articles that we should not develop an “addiction” to caffeine, coffee in particular. I’ve even written about it myself. The primary verse that these arguments are almost always built off of is 1 Corinthians 6:12, which states “’All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything.”
Because most of the sources from which I have heard this argument are ones that I trust, I am beginning to realize that I have simply regurgitated their arguments instead of thinking for myself on the topic.
Here is a thought that has popped into my mind as I begin to work it out for myself: The argument goes that we should not be “dominated,” “enslaved,” or “mastered” by anything. But we are mastered by many things. By necessity we have to eat, drink, and sleep. I know that these things are essential to life, but we are most definitely mastered by them.
Let’s step it down a level from “necessary” to “helpful,” a word used in the verse itself. As a heavy coffee drinker, I can personally attest to the helpfulness of it. My thoughts and energy levels are at their best when caffeinated. There are many things that are helpful such as exercise (1 Timothy 4:8), relaxation time, and eating your veggies, and you could easily argue that I personally am “mastered” by working out. If I miss a few days at the gym, I become increasingly grumpy. I feel it both physically and mentally. But does that mean that I should take a step back from my workout routine? Because I am becoming “addicted” to it? Are we really called, like the Jedi, to follow the code strictly?
“There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the Force.”
The strongest argument that I can come up with, then, for not being addicted to coffee is “Don’t absolutely need something that you can live without”. But then where do you draw the line on “need”? I know I’m asking more questions than I’m answering in this post, and I personally hate reading articles like this, but I want your thoughts please!