Question:I've been a Christian for a while now, and I love God with all my heart, but I smoke. I've tried to quit, but I always start back up again.
You're right, there are "worse" things you could be doing. And it's very true that God loves you unconditionally, not for what you do, but for who you are.
Now that we have those points out of the way, let's talk about your addiction to nicotine. Maybe you don't think of yourself as an addict, but you are. Nicotine, the drug in cigarettes, is one of the most addictive drugs there is. You know its power because you've tried to stop, and, as you found out, it isn't easy. Here are four reasons why I hope you will do whatever it takes to quit smoking:
- Reason #1: Cigarettes can eventually kill you. As a smoker, you're much more at risk for lung cancer and heart disease, to mention only two of the ways you could die from your addiction to nicotine. When companies place warnings on the cigarette packages you buy, they do it for a reason. Cigarette smoking has been proven to be very harmful. Can you be a Christian and smoke? Yes. Will you quite possibly die earlier and lead a less healthy life? Yes.
- Reason #2: Nicotine is a "gateway drug." You've probably heard this term in school. It simply means that, because you smoke, there is a greater chance that you'll also begin to use other harmful drugs.
- Reason #3: It may be illegal. You don't say how old you are, but if you're under 18, it's against the law for you to smoke. And as Christians, we are supposed to obey the law (Hebrews 13:17).
- Reason #4: Your body is the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19). This means you are to strive to keep your body pure and stay away from anything that would harm you or keep you from God. That includes all kinds of things, like drinking, premarital sex, overeating, starving yourself, drug abuse, self-mutilation and smoking.
My mother started smoking at age 15. She would probably beg you to quit now, before the addiction becomes even more intense. But she isn't able to do that. She died a terrible death from lung cancer a few years ago. For your family's sake, your future spouse and children's sake, for your faith's sake and for your own quality of life, do the right thing and quit your nicotine habit today. Throw those cigarettes away. Then tell a friend about your decision, and ask that friend to hold you accountable and keep you from ever lighting up again.