Smoking is powerfully addictive and causes a lot of damage and lethal health problems. It negatively affects other members of the family. But is it a sin to smoke?
The Bible doesn’t say if smoking is a sin, but it warns us that we shouldn’t be dominated by addictions (). Smoking is an irresponsible attitude towards the body because it can cause many serious illnesses. The Bible teaches us to respect our bodies.
Reasons To avoid smoking
Smoking is addictive. The vast majority of smokers cannot easily quit. The body gets used to smoking and “wants” more. In the first weeks and even months, many who try to kick the habit suffer from headaches, dizziness, and stress…
Addiction distorts priorities. Addiction can take God’s place in his life. Anyone who “needs” to smoke is addicted. For some people, smoking can become more important than their health or paying their household bills.
Smoking is bad for the body. Over the past 50 years, it has been proven that smoking causes many diseases, from minor problems such as throat infections to fatal diseases such as cancer. It’s not good to do things that destroy your body ().
Smoking is a bad example. Many people who smoke started because their friends smoked and most smokers are addicted. Your example can invite others to become trapped in an addiction that can kill them. Even worse, if you regularly smoke in the company of other people, you are threatening their health! Inhaling the smoke of other smokers is also bad for your health. The Bible teaches us that we should be concerned about the welfare of others ().
For those who know these things, it is clear that smoking is not good for you or for the people around you. The best attitude to have is not to smoke. Don’t give in to pressure, you don’t need to smoke to fit in, nor will you miss out on anything interesting by not smoking.
Are there reasons why a Christian should not smoke?
smoking and health
Most people today know that smoking is not good for their health.
Smoking is responsible for several diseases, such as cancer, long-term (chronic) respiratory disease, heart disease, as well as premature death. More than 440,000 people in the United States and 100,000 in the United Kingdom die each year from smoking.
According to the USCDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there are 92 billion dollars in losses, as a result of deaths related to smoking… Smoking is the most important preventable cause of death in the world” (“Why is smoking bad for you?” [Why is smoking bad for you?], March 3, 2011). Additionally, some researchers estimate that close to 50,000 people die each year due to passive exposure to cigarettes.
The fatal health risks are well documented, but they are not the only problems caused by smoking. Smoking makes breath and clothes smell bad, stains teeth and fingers increases the chance of insomnia, increases the risk of psoriasis, causes premature ageing, gray hair or premature baldness, causes blood vessels to narrow, and increases dental problems.
From a health perspective, it’s obviously better not to smoke, but that doesn’t answer all the questions. What if one already smokes and is physically addicted to smoking? What can we say about smoking occasionally on certain occasions, to celebrate? Is it okay for a Christian to smoke?
what the bible says
Although the Bible does not speak specifically about smoking, it does give us certain principles that we can apply. And since there is much scientific information available about the great danger of smoking (and for passive smokers as well, such as children, spouses, colleagues and friends), no one can argue that it is just a personal bad habit.
we are not ours
The apostle Paul gives us a clear and direct guide that we must take into account: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Our human bodies were carefully and lovingly designed by God, and He clearly expects us to take care of them, without adopting customs and practices that could harm them.
We also read in this passage that “you were bought with a price.” This price was the blood of Jesus Christ. He paid the penalty for our sins, redeeming us for God. In a real sense, He also purchased our lives—from baptism we belong to God and are expected to live a holy life. We need to understand that these carefully and lovingly designed bodies are now God’s property and that we are expected to care for them.
love of neighbour
God also expects us to think about the needs and well-being of others, and the impact of our actions on them. Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). In this passage, He was responding to a challenge from His opponents to tell His audience what God’s greatest commandment was. Jesus said that “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” is the first and greatest commandment, and then immediately added that loving your neighbour as yourself is the second. great commandment.
His command to care for others is a repetition of the command that God had given to Israel in Leviticus 19:18. When we know the dangers, it is obvious that it is not appropriate for us to make others have to passively inhale cigarette smoke, as this can damage their health and even cost them their lives.
So is it a sin to smoke? What happens if one smokes only occasionally? Wouldn’t it be nice to do it like that?
It is true that smoking occasionally can limit the amount of nicotine that is absorbed, tar and other toxic compounds, causing only a very small amount of these to enter the body, but this does not justify that a very small amount of these enters our lungs. Why would a Christian deliberately choose to have about 250 toxic substances found in a cigarette enter his body? What justification would there be for us to poison a body that has been purchased by God?
With each puff of smoke, some internal damage occurs. Some claim that they do not inhale. However, even if the smoker does not inhale, his body still absorbs toxic chemicals through the sensitive mucous membranes of the mouth and nose. The fact that it is not inhaled does not eliminate the harmful effects.
Does it make any sense to deliberately choose to harm our bodies and more importantly, to sin—just occasionally? In truth, there are far better ways to celebrate a special occasion than lighting up a cigarette, cigar or pipe!
How can I stop smoking?
To quit smoking, ask God for help. If you have not yet accepted Jesus as your saviour, invite Jesus to live in your heart. Ask forgiveness for being trapped in addiction and believe that He can set you free (; ). God wants you to live free from addiction.
Resist the temptation. In Jesus, you can resist
Avoid situations where the temptation is greater. Seek help to get rid of addiction. Talk to your pastor or leader about the problem. If you find it very difficult to quit, seek professional help as well. There are many good programs that help people to quit smoking. You are not alone on this journey.
Let smoking be a thing of the past!
Recent research clearly shows the destructive results of smoking, and some governments are now taking steps to increase warnings on tobacco products and thus reduce consumption. The Bible reveals God’s way of thinking about all things that destroy our bodies and harm others. Therefore, smoking is a sin and something that Christians must work diligently to get out of their lives.
If you truly want to overcome this bad habit, remember that fighting to overcome is what God expects. It may not be easy, but the character is strengthened in battle. And the great God of creation greatly respects and rewards those who strive and overcome (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21).