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John Piper on energy drinks affecting spirituality

Jesus’ disciples fell asleep instead of praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Would energy drinks have helped?

Bible teacher John Piper recently addressed the question of whether caffeinated drinks such as energy drinks can have a negative influence on a Christian’s spiritual life in response to a question to a podcast listener.

“As someone who likes them, I was wondering if there are any negative effects or reason to not drink them,” a listener named José asked. “They help me focus and have energy during my work shift. I only drink one every two or three days, but I would like to have some spiritual insight in order that I might run this race without being slowed down.”

Piper focused on 1 Corinthians 6:12–13, which reads: “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say — but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’ — but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, ‘Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.’ The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”

Piper said the question was part of a much bigger issue, specifically a question about “the proper use of not just caffeine but other stimulants, medications.”

“Are energy drinks, or whatever I’m taking, are they masking deeper problems that I’m not dealing with, because I’m masking them, or are they helping me really address and be freed from the deeper problems that I may have?” he said. “If José or any of us is masking deeper problems with stimulants, then they’re not being used as a gift from God for our good; they’re being used as a flight from truth and from the good that God wants to do deeper down.”

Piper offered “three summary guidelines” regarding the consumption of caffeinated drinks: “Are they truly helpful?” “Are they dominating me, mastering me and obscuring that Jesus is my real master?” And “Am I using them in love? Am I building others up? Am I seeking to build my own faith and the faith of others?”

Last September, Piper wrote a post on X about whether congregations should “reassess whether Sunday coffee-sipping in the sanctuary fits.”

–Alana Goforth  | Metro Voice






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