Question:I know some of the guys I lift weights with use steroids. I'd never even consider it because I understand how damaging it is to your body, but what can I say to them? These guys know the risks, but still think this gives them an edge. They've seen the sad results of when professional athletes' use steroids, but honestly for every sad ending there's a bunch of athletes who accomplished a lot and got far in their sport. Besides that, how do I know what is a healthy means of bulking up and what isn't? Is there a biblical way to view this?
I appreciate your concern for your friends. In the past, I have talked with a youth pastor friend of mine who is also a professional weight lifter. He is one of the best in the world, and he has seen it all. His advice was "Don't play with fire." Do steroids work? Frankly, they do. You can bulk up and improve strength. However, the long-term side effects are not worth the gamble. Plus, the use of steroids in the manner you are talking about is absolutely illegal. The Scripture is clear when it says, "Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 6:19). I understand this to mean that as Christians our bodies are literally a place where God dwells. This means it is very important how we treat our bodies, whether that be putting illegal drugs like steroids into our body or living a life of sexual promiscuity. I know you want to obey God more than impress friends with a bulked up body due to a shortcut called steroid use. Today, the use of steroids is making headlines at least every week because of the crisis in professional athletics. People see that illegal steroid use has worked for some professional athletes so they think it will work for them. Unfortunately, many of the people who see steroid use as easier way to gain strength forget that there are some very common effects from popping steroids that some of their friends don't talk about. Here's why my weight lifting friend said, "Don't play with fire." Steroids throw a body out of whack. Steroids cause hormone imbalances for teenagers and anyone else. This is not something to mess with. Steroids do make users bulk up, but the health risks are real. Steroid use can shorten your life, cause your liver to grow tumors, and hearts to clog up. Steroids can give people acne and cause their hair to fall out. Steroid users can become violent, angry, and aggressive. I heard of a really nice guy who took steroids to look great, but one day in a fit of rage he killed a person in the gym over an argument about the use of a sit up machine. Today, he would tell you it is not worth the gamble. The healthiest way to become physically fit is to eat right, exercise properly, and give your body to God. Make sure your friends understand the risks, and then show them by your example that you can be incredibly fit without the help of an illegal, risky substance being placed in their body.