JOSH HAMILTON AND ALCOHOL

I’m a Texas Ranger’s fan and a Josh Hamilton fan. My heart was saddened this weekend when I heard the story about the Josh Hamilton pictures of him being drunk and partying with three girls last January. According to his own words, “It all started when I thought I could have just one drink.” He said a few hours later he had disappointed himself, his wife, his children and his Savior. The very next day, he told all to his family and the Rangers, but the media is just now getting ahold of the story.


The website that released the half-naked party pictures said, Josh Hamilton claims he’s been sober since October 2005. Since then he’s rejuvenated his career, saved his marriage, devoted himself to Jesus, and become America’s flawed, homerun-derby hero. Last winter, while he was alone in Tempe, Arizona, Hambone kinda slipped.”

Josh Hamilton said this about it, “I’m embarrassed about it, personally, for the Rangers, for my wife, my children and my family,” Hamilton said at his locker with a handful of his teammates joining the crowd of media that had formed. “It reinforces one of the things that I can’t have is alcohol. It’s unfortunate that it happened. I was out there getting ready for the season and took my focus off the number one factor in my recovery — my relationship with Christ. I hate that this happened. I am human.”

I’m not writing this to judge what Josh Hamilton did wrong this past January. But what all this reminds me of is my hate for alcohol, and the power it has over people. Despite alcohol being sold as something that will provide fun and fellowship, in my line of work I have only seen the negative side of the drug.

I’ve counseled and watched helplessly as numerous couples have ended their marriage because of the alcoholism. I have been threatened by drunken husbands to stay out of their business when it comes to them physically abusing their wives. I’ve done funerals for teenagers who have died too soon, because they were experimenting with alcohol. I have had to search for words to explain to children why their daddy would hit their mom. I’ve buried two of my closest friends in this world due to alcohol. And believe me, I could go on…

I’m still rooting for Josh Hamilton, his marriage, his faith and his career. But just like me, Josh will continue to make mistakes on a daily basis. I’m just praying that relapsing into alcohol isn’t one of them. While alcohol may provide fun and fellowship for some, I just haven’t seen that side of it. I’ve only seen the side that involves destruction, embarrassment and hurt.

(BTW – I love what Josh Hamilton’s wife, Katie, had to say about all of this: read it here)

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
15 Comments Post a Comment
  1. nick gill says:

    Josh has actually given us a very important reminder. Addiction never ends. There are no fairy-tale stories. Just because the movie ends at a moment when the protagonist is strong — just because we always remember them that way — that doesn't mean that they'll always be that way.

    Josh's situation, unpleasant as it is, gives us a much more honest view of the life of a sin-addict than all the previous triumphalist press coverage.

    If I was his sponsor, I'd be proud of him for how he handled himself, both immediately after the incident and now that the incident has become public.

    As for the conclusion of your article, I know where you're coming from — I really do. But Scripture itself gives us a balanced view of the blessings and curses that can come from drinking, along with this important reminder:

    "the fruit of the Spirit is … self-control."

    We who have been set free by Christ, who live by the Spirit of Christ, must avoid the Colossian heresy: "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch" without surrendering either our self-control or our loyalty to our God. Sometimes, for some of us, this will definitely include avoiding alcohol — *not* because it is inherently sinful, but because it works against the Spirit in our lives.

  2. nick gill says:

    A couple of amendments —

    1) Addiction never ends [until we're all transformed into the image of Christ]….

    2) If I were his sponsor, I'd be proud of how he's handled himself [since that night]…

  3. Monalea says:

    I too hate alcohol and the lives it continues to destroy. I see 'nothing' good in alcohol!!!

  4. Stoogelover says:

    I have friends who are in church leadership who love a beer or a glass of wine, not just now and then, but quite often. Though I find nothing in Scripture to condemn a glass of either, the message they send to others, especially teens, saddens me. I told one of them (a close friend of mine) that had this been the case when my children were growing up, we would not have been close friends because we would not have been together socially.

  5. TREY MORGAN says:

    Nick – I too was impressed with his confession and admission. That's always better than trying to hide and cover up (ie King David). And, yes I agree 100% it's all about self-control in any and everything…

    Stoogelover – I appreciate your wisdom.

  6. Kent says:

    Trey-

    I am real mixed on how I feel about this. On the one hand, I applaud Josh for coming out and being up front and honest about slipping. It was very interesting that Saturday David Ortiz was holding a press conference and he took exactly the opposite approach as Josh: deny, deny, deny. As a Christian, too, the guy has asked for our forgiveness. We all make mistakes.

    I guess the problem I have with this is the fact that it took him so long to come clean on this. Yeah, the pictures just surfaced Saturday but should he not have come out in January and said, "You know, I have had a brief relapse." I know for a fact that he has spoken with local groups here in DFW since January about his story and none of this has been mentioned. What if these photos had not surfaced? We would still be living under the assumption that he was clean. He would still be going around to these groups making it out to be that he hasn't slipped since he's been back in the majors. So, that's my problem. I forgive him. I hope and pray that his relationship with his wife is ok. I just wish he had come forward on his own accord and not because his hand was forced by Deadspin. (And, by the way, did Deadspin pay for these photos? I want to know how they got a hold of them.)

    Kent Benfer

  7. NB says:

    Alcohol draws people in, whispers convincingly nice things in their ears, settles in and makes itself comfortable, and then wreaks total havoc throughout the lives of everyone it touches, (directly or indirectly) – all under the guise of making one feel better. Alcohol is liquid destruction, and chaos in a bottle.

    My two cents. Not judgmental, just familiar.

    I hope it works out for Josh Hamilton and his family. I think he deserves some credit for coming clean to his family the next day. However, the damage was done and the road back is long and difficult.

  8. wisemanb says:

    Trey, I feel the same way about the effects of alcohol. Even if there weren't the Scriptural warnings concerning it, I'd still be against because of the loss of family members to drunk drivers and a lack of judgment after drinking.

    Josh's comments about it reinforcing that he just can't even play with alcohol remind me of Proverbs 23:29-35. Even if you're not addicted to it, alcohol often deceives us in what we think we get out of it. Also, Proverbs 31:4-5…

  9. Terry says:

    We have several people who struggle with addiction to alcohol in our congregation. It has helped me to teach my son about the dangers of alcohol. While sports and TV shows tend to show the positives of alcohol (mostly in the commercials), he can see the lives of people he knows whose lives have been nearly destroyed by drunkeness.

    Thank you for giving the other side of the story.

  10. Anonymous says:

    i leave you with this quote:

    "mistakes are bad but they can only remain bad if you dont learn from them" and i think josh will learn his lesson

  11. Anonymous says:

    Josh messed up, but at least it was just alcohol and not cocaine or any other drug. He will learn from this. A drink now and then isn't bad. I applaud him for having a good time and cutting loose. Everyone makes mistakes, but in the same light everone is forgiven.

  12. TREY MORGAN says:

    Anonymous – Applauding him for cutting loose? A married man and a role model? I don't think so.

    And as for everyone being forgiven … I wish it was that easy. Not everyone is as forgiving in this world has Josh's wife Katie.

  13. wjcsydney says:

    Anonymous, "but at least it was just alcohol and not cocaine"

    JUST alcohol? I don't know what the USA figures are like but here in Australia far more people die from alcohol than from illegal drugs. Far more lives are ruined with alcohol than with illegal drugs.

    Alcoholism runs in my family and in my husband's family. I know the destruction first hand. Just because it is legal doesn't make it any better.

    btw, I drink alcohol occasionally. Jesus drank wine. The problem is not with the alcohol but with the abuse of it.

  14. westcoastwitness says:

    I respect this guy for being real about his mistake.

    And Nick, I have to disagree with you that addiction never ends.

    I think it does.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Amen, Trey.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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