King's Business - 1965-06

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R e c e n t p u b l i c i t y on the dangers of smoking has inspired many smokers to try to break the habit. For years the position of most evangelical Christians has been that the habit is unaccept­ able. It obviously is unbecoming to a Christian to indulge in this unhealthful practice. Bill, newly saved, agreed with this philosophy, so as he left the church one night he took the pack of cigarettes from his pocket and threw it away. He was quitting. But the next day, when a tense situation developed in the office, Bill instinctively reached for the cigarettes that weren’t there. He borrowed one, then bought a pack. By the time he returned to church the next Sunday, he was smoking his usual quota. Bill had been sincere in his de­ termination to break the habit when he threw his cigarettes away. But he learned that deter­ mination was not enough. Many other sincere people, like Bill, make a start at giving up cigar­ ettes; but when the craving for tobacco returns they find that although they have given up the habit, it has not given them up. Experts in the study of human behavior tell us that the way to break a habit is to replace it with a stronger one. To do this, we are told to present the mind with a choice between immediate satis­ faction and eventual reward. The choice most appealing to the indi­ vidual will win out, according to this theory, which is all right as far as it goes. 44

power that dominates you. By submitting to cigarettes you have become their, slave. Jesus said that His mission of redemption included the “ opening of the pris- on to them that are bound,” and the “ setting at liberty o f them that are bruised.” Satan’s power is very real; but, “No man can serve two masters.” If Christ is now your master, you need hot be a slave to any unwelcome power. In 2 Corinthians 4 :10 we read, ‘That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” When you receive God into your life you are to manifest or demonstrate the life of Christ in your “mortal flesh,” which is your physical life. This certainly in­ cludes your physical habits. God knows we are weak in ourselves; therefore He has made provision for us to receive extra strength to manifest Christ in our lives. The power of the living Christ in you is the result of your spiritual creation as a child of God. Just as you were bom into the phys- ical world, so now you are “bom again” into the spiritual kingdom where Christ is master. Christ is greater than any habit, and He can break any fetter Satan had placed around your life before you became a new creation. So, if you have a real desire to give up cigarettes, take it to the Lord in prayer. Pray something like this: “Lord, I know it is Your will for me to be free from smok­ ing. I truly want to be free. Help me now to receive strength from You to stop smoking. I believe, as TH E KING'S BUSINESS

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by Bob Watters

On this basis, the smoker can admit that smoking offers the im­ mediate pleasure of the cigarette. But the habit of not smoking, he can see, offers the better reward. There is release from a wearisome chain of cigarettes; peace of mind regarding the lung cancer threat; an improved personal appear­ ance; a more effective Christian testimony; and, best o f all, the as­ surance that it is pleasing to God for him to quit. But why does not the knowl­ edge of these simple facts enable more people to quit cigarettes? Actually, it is not breaking the habit that is hard. It is wanting break it. The desire to quit must be stronger than the habit itself. We cannot doubt the sincerity of many people who attempt to give up cigarettes, even though they are unsuccessful. Like Bill, they lack the strength of deep desire. The first step toward breaking the cigarette habit is to recog­ nize that you are a slave to any



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