Editor Jun 15 : 00:33
Smoking is pretty harmless isn't it?
Smoking is pretty harmless isn't it? I mean... if God didn't want us smoking, he would have made it illegal. It's tobacco, it grows from the ground, it's natural, it can't be that bad for you. It one of the few pleasures I have left and now you're trying to take it away from me. How many times have we heard these "reasons" or even used some of them ourselves.
As someone once told me, "Facts are our friends", and as disciples, we need to cut through the smoke and mirrors so that we can be prepared to answer those who are caught in the addiction of tobacco. Lets take a look at some of the facts.
THE FACTS Tobacco related illness kills over 1,000 Americans per day. Tobacco wipes out the equivalent of a packed Yankee Stadium in less than three months. Tobacco related illness kills over 3,000,000 people per year, worldwide. The population of Ireland in 2002 was 3.8 million. Tobacco wipes out this many people globally in about fifteen months. Tobacco kills more people than murder, aids, suicide, illicit drugs and alcohol combined. This much death and destruction can be sold over the counter. It would require a small army to do this much damage with guns and bullets. Yet guns are licensed. 1 in 3 people who become regular smokers will eventually die from a tobacco -- related illness. In New York, 2001 there were 1,548 road fatalities, which is roughly 14 per 100,000 vehicles. Statistically, it is safer to cross a New York City street blindfolded than it is to smoke. Blindfold anybody? 80 percent of people who smoke started before they were 18 years old. This is primarily due to peer pressure and parents example. This blows the "I'm not affecting anyone but me" excuse out of the water. There are 101 poisons and 43 carcinogenic compounds in tobacco smoke. If a fast food chain offered these same ingredients in a milkshake - how popular would it be? Smoking is responsible for 87 percent of all cases of lung cancer. How would your family and friends feel watching you die from lung cancer. Tobacco companies spend $13.2 million a day to advertise and promote cigarettes. They take your addiction very seriously - how serious is your recovery to you? Only 1 in 16 people who try to quit smoking succeed. This kind only comes out through prayer and fasting. Nicotine is an addictive drug. Cigarette companies learned this as early as 1962 and began to develop other products to deliver greater nicotine doses to consumers. These companies already know what many of us refuse to acknowledge, Doctors say that nicotine addiction is very similar to heroin addiction. It is easier to kick a cocaine habit than a nicotine habit. Yet so many smokers refuse to accept the fact that they are addicts. Even those in recovery from "hard" drugs, consider themselves clean and sober while they continue to smoke. The money to be made. 2001 Total Tobacco Revenues Philip Morris Companies Inc. - $51,370,000,000.00 R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. - $8,585,000,000.00 Brown & Williamson - $35,627,000,000.00 Lorillard Tobacco Company - $4,529,600,000.00 Vector Group Ltd. - $744,200,000.00 Statistics from WholeTruth.com Smoking Enslaves Us
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. (Romans 6:12)
They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. (2 Peter 2:19) Sin is not looking to have us only on weekends. It desires to enslave us and reign supreme in our lives in place of God. Tobacco is addictive. It will become more important to you than God unless you stop using it. There is no easing off or cutting back. Sin needs to be dealt with quickly and effectively. Sets A Bad Example
Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. (Titus 2:6-10) God wants us to set an example for all non-believers and for our children. How could we preach the Gospel with a cigarette hanging out of the side of our mouths. Being a "Christian" smokers says that it is not God who controls our lives but that instead, we are being controlled by the desires of the flesh. Smokers Wouldn't Recommend It
But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. (Romans 14:23) Even the most arrogant of smokers would not claim that their actions come from faith in God. In fact the vast majority, if not all smokers, know that cigarettes cause them harm. The person who continues to persue harm for themselves can't possibly know Jesus and the freedom He brings. It Hurts Your Influence on People
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:12)
...keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:16) Again, God wants us to be examples of His power working through our lives. We cannot be controlled by a substance and do this at the same time. Violates Others Rights
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12) Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4) Being a christian means that we consider others better than ourselves. How could we do this and smoke at the same time! The Law and the Prophets all pointed to loving one another and by doing this, we should not knowingly harm another person. Dishonors God with Our Body Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:20)
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (2 Corinthians 7:1) May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23) Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; (Hebrews 10:5) As Christians, our body is the temple of God. When we do not have respect for how we treat it, we disrespect God. The facts above clearly show the negative effects of smoking. Smoking damages our body. A Poor Substitute for Prayer as a Means of Dealing with Anxiety Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6, 7) God wants us to rely on Him when we feel anxious, to tell Him how we are feeling and to trust that He will take care of us. Tobacco is a ver poor substitute for God working in our lives. It Kills You See Package