George Booker
A New Creation

35. Smoking

The first consideration to suggest itself is the sizeable expense. But the real disadvantages of smoking are physical and medical: Every athlete, amateur or professional, who takes his pursuit seriously, is a non-smoker. And it is now proven that smoking can cause lung cancer and contribute to other respiratory diseases.

The nicotine stain on one’s fingers can be eradicated by a file or some other means, but the nicotine deposit can hardly be removed from one’s lungs except by giving up smoking and by other treatment.

To smoke or not to smoke will probably never be decided by argument. Instead, one who lives in Christ has to ask, “Could I justify it to Jesus?” And can one do as Paul advised young Timothy — “Keep yourself pure” — and smoke?

(It should be said that this advice is aimed most directly at those who have not yet begun to smoke, and is not intended as an indictment of the character of those already “addicted”. We recognize the great difficulty in breaking a confirmed habit such as smoking, and have every sympathy with the brother or sister who is struggling unsuccessfully to do so.)

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