I was a binge drinker between the ages of 17 and 23, regularly getting wasted for the buzz. I was drawn to Christ at the end of that time and simply stopped drinking. Old friends asked “why don’t you get drunk any more?” I’d say, “because I now know the love of Christ and it’s much better than beer.” Here’s a second excerpt from CH Spurgeon’s sermon on Song of Solomon 1:2, “your love is better than wine“:
II. CHRIST’S LOVE IS BETTER THAN WINE BECAUSE OF WHAT IT IS–
Let me remind you of some of the uses of wine in the East. Often, it was employed as a medicine, for it had certain healing properties. The good Samaritan, when he found the wounded man, poured into his wounds “oil and wine.” But the love of Christ is better than wine; it may not heal the wounds of the flesh, but it does heal the wounds of the spirit.
Wine, again, was often associated by men with the giving of strength. Now, whatever strength wine may give or may not give, certainly the love of Jesus gives strength, and strength mightier than the mightiest earthly force, for when the love of Jesus Christ is shed abroad in a man’s heart, he can bear a heavy burden of sorrow. …The love of Christ enables a man to do great exploits, and makes him strong for suffering, strong for self-sacrifice, and strong for service.
Wine was also frequently used as the symbol of joy; and certainly, in this respect, Christ’s love is better than wine. Whatever joy there may be in the world… the love of Christ is far superior to it. Human joy derived from earthly sources is a muddy, dirty pool, at which men would not drink did they know there was a stream sweeter, cooler, and far more refreshing.
It is better than wine, once more, for the sacred exhilaration which it gives. I have already spoken of this; the love of Christ is the grandest stimulant of the renewed nature that can be known. It enables the fainting man to revive from his swooning; it causes the feeble man to leap up from his bed of languishing; and it makes the weary man strong again. Are you weary, brother, and sick of life? You only need more of Christ’s love shed abroad in your heart. Are you, dear brother, ready to faint through unbelief? You only need more of Christ’s love, and all shall be well with you.