Pastor Robert Hammond
This short article discusses biblical principles that apply to the use of nicotine, together with practical help for people who desire to stop using nicotine.
Many have concluded that it’s ok for Christians to smoke or vape because the Bible doesn’t directly address this topic. However, the Bible does teach a variety of principles that should inform our decision.
First, we are called to yield control to the Holy Spirit rather than to allow ourselves to be controlled by a chemical substance. This is precisely the point of Ephesisan 5:18, where the Lord commands, “…be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” The point of that verse is that God desires us to yield control of our lives to him alone. When we yield control to alcohol or nicotine, we necessarily cease yielding ourselves to God — especially in the case of addiction to alcohol or nicotine (or any other substance).
Second, we are called to demonstrate love to other Christians. In 1 John 4:7, the Lord commands us to “…love one another: for love is of God…” Smoking or vaping around others is unloving for several reasons: (1) It may be an annoyance to others; (2) it may encourage others to smoke or vape and (3) exposure to second-hand smoke has been shown to be dangerous to others.
Third, Christians do well to consider that the Lord has provided our bodies for his purposes. (Revelation 4:11). We should work to remain healthy so that we may continue to serve God. Further, Christians should consider that our bodies our indwelt by the Holy Spirit. in 1 Corinthians 6:19, the Lord asks, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
Last, it is also worth noting that the cost of vaping or smoking can impede our desire to be good stewards of our finances.
In conclusion, Christians should refrain from smoking or vaping in order to (1) demonstrate love to others, (2) to avoid addiction — which necessarily involves yielding control to something other than God and (3) to be good stewards of our finances and our physical bodies so that we may serve God as long as he desires.
If you are already addicted to nicotine or any other substance, consider these suggestions:
Pray and confess the sin;
Ask God for grace to stop using the substance. And ask him to help you seek comfort from him;
Get support from your pastor or someone else in your church. In addition, ask your doctor about programs to help manage the physical aspect of the addiction. In the case of smoking or vaping, this may include using a nicotine patch for a short time to help wean your body off nicotine.
Praise God for his grace and comfort!
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