"How Shall The Young Secure Their Hearts?"
C. Titus Edwards
Port Neches, Texas
Smoking - The No Good Habit
You can hardly have a lesson series for young people without sometime talking about smoking. Well,, sometime has come I The use of tobacco is nothing but a foul, filthy, disgusting, offensive habit. There just is not anything good to be said about itl
I know, that most of you will try it anyway (if you haven't already) sometime between the ages of 9 and 14, and that about 68% of you will become regular smokers. But let me suggest that you carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of smoking before you get into it. If you do, then you will obviously decide not to be a smoker.
Most people that smoke will admit that it is no good for them and that they would like to be able to quit. Do you know the best way to handle this problem? Don't ever start smoking to begin with! One night on the Johnny Carson show, Tony Randall was trying to encourage Johnny to quit smoking. Johnny admitted that he had tried to do so in the past unsuccessfully. Johnny said that he knew he would be better off not to smoke and even made an appeal to his audience not ever to start. He made the point that most people started smoking when they were young. They did so to be big, or because other kids were trying it, or just because they were told not to. Johnny said that it was not worth it ever to begin smoking. These points are obvious, even from people of the world!
The Bible lays down three principles which tells me that smoking is wrong. First of all, smoking violates God's laws on health and our bodies. We are to present our bodies as "a living sacrifice" (Rom. 12: 1), recognizing that it is the temple of the Holy Ghost and that we are to use it to glorify God (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Second, smoking violates God's law on being mastered. We are to be temperate and in control, not overcome by bad habits (Gal. 5:23; 1 Cor. 9:25-27; 6:12). And third, smoking ruins a person's influence. We are to be setting a good example for others to follow, letting people see Jesus in our lives (Phil. 2:15; Mt. 5:13-15). We should want not to smoke that we can serve God acceptably.
Is smoking harmful? Of course it is! That is why millions of people have quit smoking the last 10 years. The percentage of people who smoke is dropping, because of all of the research that has come out in the last 15 years showing how harmful it is. "Cigarette smoking not only causes 90% of all lung cancers, it also is the single most preventable cause of disease in America," said Dr. Charles LeMaistre, president of the University of Texas System Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Why do you think that the U.S. government requires cigarette packages to carry this warning: "Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous To Your Health"? Heart diseases are the number one health problem and leading cause of death today. We know that smoking is one of the primary contributions to such. Nicotine is a poisonous alkaloid. Smoking is slow suicide!
If this isn't enough to get you not to smoke, then I hope that your first puff turns you green and you get sicker than a dog! Maybe that will convince you to leave it alone! Isn't it interesting, that when you're young, you're big if you smoke, but when you're older, you're big if you can quit? Remember, you don't smoke - the cigarette does. You're just the sucker!
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 7, p. 202