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Overcoming Addictions - Help for Christians

Christians and non-Christian alike battle with addictions and other behaviors that they find themselves struggling to leave behind. Through faith in Jesus Christ and placing emotional and spiritual health as attainable goals, we can all be overcomers.

This blog, produced by Certified Recovery Specialist Beth Livingston, is for people to exchange struggles and victories of breaking free from addictions and other hurtful behaviors.

Does the Bible Say I Shouldn't Smoke?

by CBN

While the Bible doesn't address the issue of smoking directly, you will find a number of biblical principles which apply to your smoking habit. The following study guide will help you discover these principles: (Print this out and use as a guide for journaling your answers.)

1. When you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, God puts His Holy Spirit into you.

Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

a. According to this passage, how does God view your body?

b. How should you treat your body in light of this?

c. Considering what is known about the effects of smoking on your body, do you think smoking is in conflict with how you should treat your body?

2. Read Genesis 1:26:

Then God said, "Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground."

a. What did God give man to rule over?

b. How does the earth's plant life fit into this plan? How can man "rule" over it? Where do you think the tobacco plant fits into this plan?

3. In 2 Peter 2:19, the Bible addresses the danger of false teachers who had given themselves to indulging fleshly appetites and were leading others into worldly behavior.

Read 2 Peter 2:19
They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.

a. How does this verse describe someone who is controlled by something?

b. The nicotine found in cigarettes has been proven to be addictive. Therefore, based on this verse, how would you describe a habitual smoker's relationship to cigarettes?

c. How does this compare to the order God intended when He gave man rule over all the earth?

4. Read Ephesians 5:17:

Don't act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.

Based on the scientific evidence of the effects of smoking and your understanding of what the Bible says, what do you think God wants YOU to do about smoking?

5. If you believe that smoking is something that God wants you to stop doing, then it is a sin for you to smoke because you are doing something contrary to God's will.

Read Romans 6:12:
Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.

Write what it means to you as far as smoking is concerned:

What Are God's Promises?

6. Cigarette addiction is one habit of this world that many people struggle with.

Write in your own words the promises God gives you in the scriptures below that will help you overcome the desire to smoke:

1 Corinthians 10:13
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

James 4:7
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Philippians 4:13
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

7. One problem that concerns many smokers who want to quit is how the withdrawal will affect them emotionally.

Read Isaiah 26:3:
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

What promise does God give in this scripture to those who trust God?


What If I Need More Help?

8. Jesus acknowledged that people sometimes have difficulty doing what they know is the right thing to do.

Read Matthew 26:41:
Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!"

What are two things Jesus says to do?



9. Read Psalm 119:11:

I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

The scripture mentions something else that will give you strength. What is it?

Note: 1 John 2:17 and Philippians 4:13 are two good verses to "hide in your heart" (memorize them and then think about them if you feel the need to smoke). You will find many other verses that will help you grow strong in your walk with God.

1 John 2:17
And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

Philippians 4:13
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

10. Are you filled with God's Spirit?

If you have made Jesus your Lord and Savior, ask God to FILL you with His Holy Spirit and to give you HIS power to do ALL that He wants you to do-not just to quit smoking. Read Luke 11:11-13 and Galatians 5:16.

Luke 11:11-13
"You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him."

Galatians 5:16
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves.

Write out your prayer for God's Spirit to fill you and give you the power to be free from cigarettes:

What If I Fail?

11. Read 1 John 1:9:

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

This verse tells you how to face any failure you have in obeying the will of God. Summarize this verse in your own words.

12. Follow up any failure you meet in obeying God's will with 2 Thessalonians 3:13:

As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. What's the nugget of wisdom in this verse?

When You Smoke

  • Each puff you take assaults your lungs with about 4,000 chemicals, more than 40 of them known to cause cancer.
  • You are 10 times more likely to get cancer than a nonsmoker.
  • You are two times more likely to have a heart attack than a nonsmoker.
  • You are more likely than a nonsmoker to suffer from emphysema, chronic bronchitis, a stroke, male impotence or one of numerous other ailments to which smoking has been linked.
  • You chance joining the 320,000 people who die unnecessarily each year -- because of smoking.
  • Research with nonsmoking spouses and children of smokers confirms you may be hurting the health of people you love.
  • If you are addicted to cigarettes, you are essentially a slave to a plant. Yet God created you to rule over the earth.

When You Quit

No matter how old you are, or how long you've been smoking, unless irreversible disease has begun:

  • Your risk of heart disease lowers IMMEDIATELY!
  • Your circulation improves immediately.
  • Within days your lungs begin to clear.
  • Your risk of cancer drops steadily.
  • After 5 years your risk of many diseases is the same as a nonsmoker.
  • After 10 years your overall risk of death is the same as someone who has never smoked.

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Thursday, September 08, 2011 5:07 PM

Comments on this post

# RE: Does the Bible Say I Shouldn't Smoke?

I realize that this was a post from two years ago, and that no one responded? I am a 42 year old born again christian who is a smoker. What I have come to learn is that for all who wonder if smokers are going to hell.. the answer is NO. (we just might get to heaven quicker than we need to). However, I myself am struggling with this nasty habit and IT IS NOT GODS WILL FOR US TO SMOKE. I am not trying to condemn myself or others, but I know that my body is thretemple of the holy spirit.. I have been so convicted of this habit for quite sometime, and I am asking for Gods help, and re-learning to use authority over my flesh, and my mind. The devil is a liar period, but through Christ we can over come anything. I Thank CBN for this article. It was so very helpful!
Left by Kate on Feb 22, 2013 8:11 AM

# RE: Does the Bible Say I Shouldn't Smoke?

I smoked cigarettes while loving Jesus for 25 years. I've now got 12 years of no smoking and wish I had simply been delivered from it when I first wanted to quit. However, Jesus and I worked through it together and those bonds have been broken. Kate, I'm praying that you will have freedom from cigarettes. You're on a sticky note in my office now. So just know that you have an intercessor out here for you too. I'm going to go ahead and thank Jesus in advance for what He's going to do to help you get free.
Left by blivingston on Feb 22, 2013 9:16 AM

# RE: Does the Bible Say I Shouldn't Smoke?

blivingston, I just read this blog now and I am a 68 year old woman who was totally delivered from cigarttes over 20 years ago. After the death of my husband I remarried and my current husband started smoking. That was 13 years ago and I have been battling on and off for that many years the habit of smoking again. I hate that I went back again after the Lord so graciously delivered me back in the 80's. I know that this cigarette smoking is hurting my walk with the Lord as I am always feeling that He is mad at me, even if this is not true, I still feel this way. Please, pray for me. I do pray that the Lord will take this habit away from me again. It seems impossible to quit now, and I don't know why. I do fear sometimes that if He does return soon, I will be left behind due to my smoking habit....Please Pray for me, Thank you, Carol
Left by carolmariev11 on Jun 08, 2015 6:30 PM

# RE: Does the Bible Say I Shouldn't Smoke?

Carol, I am praying for you and thanking our Father in Heaven for the victory He will give you over cigarettes. It's only a matter of time. Hang in there and know that His desire is to help you be free, not to condemn you because you were weak. In our weaknesses, He will be strong to overcome. He loves you that much!
Left by blivingston on Jun 09, 2015 8:52 AM

# RE: Does the Bible Say I Shouldn't Smoke?

I had a nervous breck down in 2003 and started smooking again I hate it will I go to Hell for smokking I am asking God in Jesus name to help me some mininstry says I will not go to hell that smoking is a bad habit but I want to quit anyhow I was free for 13 years and went into a deep depression over some medication a doctor gave me and attempte sucide, I love Jesus and I pray he will give me a miracle on this and taking precription drugs for painful back and IBS
Left by gary throckmorton on Mar 11, 2017 1:41 PM

# RE: Does the Bible Say I Shouldn't Smoke?

I suppose it's possible to build a case against a Christians smoking, based on it being a form of substance abuse, which arguably is a form of idol worship.

Begs the question - if taking soft or hard drugs is an addiction, isn't smoking an addiction and therefore a sinful abuse of God's temple (the human body)?

I think prominent Christian leaders must set the right example by not smoking or drinking.
Left by Lion-Heart IV on Dec 31, 2017 11:33 AM