"We'll Do Anything Except"

Luther Blackmon
Clermont, Florida

People who smoke cigarettes know that there is a definite connection between cigarette smoking and cancer. An estimated 47,000 people died in the U.S. in 1965 of lung cancer, not to mention cancer of the throat and mouth. On page 117 of the 1962 volume of Encyclopedia Americana is a report by E. C. Hammond that the death rate by cancer is 121 per cent higher among smokers who inhale deeply than among nonsmokers. And in the 1965 volume of Americana we have on page 314 this statement: "Smoking and Health, the report of the advisory committee to the Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, was released on Jan. 11, 1964. The report stated that male cigarette smokers have a higher death rate from coronary artery disease than non smoking males. The risk of dying from coronary artery disease was approximately 70 per cent higher in middle aged men who smoked."

So what do these smokers do? Well, that depends. Some are hooked to such an extent that life would be intolerable for them without the weed. One woman reported in Abby's column that she was considering giving her little boy away because he was allergic to cigarette smoke. Others seem to feel a twinge of conscience now and then about poisoning their bodies of which Paul said, "... your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost . . ." (1 Cor. 6:19), so they stop reading the statistics. Others switch to one of the brands with a highly touted "new" filter. But not many will do the one thing that could add years to their life, save them a lot of money and perhaps a painful death: QUIT!

Overweight people have a problem. That is the ones who do not like being fat. They go to reducing salons, buy expensive equipment, take pills, stop weighing, buy clothes too small, blame it on glandular trouble (sometimes it is) or nerves, anything except stop eating too much of the wrong food.

I heard a discussion sometime ago on T.V. by a panel of experts on crime, its cause and cure. Some of these men were members of the Crime Commission appointed by the government for this investigation. The Chief of Police of San Francisco was on the panel. He was asked to give his reason for the increase in crime among juveniles. His answer was, "the break-up in the homes." Then he added, "BUT THIS IS SOMETHING PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO HEAR." The people want more police protection, better laws regulating the sale of guns, etc. But they are not going to face up to the real cause of the trouble: Drinking parents, working mothers and a complete, or almost, complete disregard for the responsibilities of parents. They are ready to do anything that doesn't interfere with their personal habits or pleasure. They are willing to look anywhere for the cause of the trouble, except in the mirror.

The same thing is true in the spiritual realm. We are willing to have the church grow and remain as God made it, provided it does not cost ns any effort or cause ns any embarrassment. We are willing to obey the lord provided it does not interfere with our personal life and pursuit of pleasure. "I will do anything for the Lord EXCEPT surrender my life to Him and put Him first in everything," But unfortunately, for us, that is what it takes or it is not worth the try.


September 3, 1970