My Feelings About Smoking

First of all I need to say that I'm not writing this to judge anyone, that's the job of Jesus.  I'm not trying to convict anyone, the Holy Ghost does His job well and doesn't need my help.  I just feel so strongly about Christians who are in denial about this addiction of the flesh that I want to write about my own experiences with smoking and I'll add some of my opinions as well.  Please read this in the spirit with which it is written.  I've prayed about how to write this so that I don't offend or hurt anyone but that my own experiences and the wisdom that I've gained over the years might speak to someone's heart. If I can cause just one young person to NOT take up smoking I will know that I've done my job well.

I am an anointed singer for the purpose of lifting up the name of Jesus, and for blessing His children.  I believe if I can bless His children, it blesses Him.  That's why singing means so much to me.  But I found myself not able to sing several years ago.  I had been a smoker for 33 years and it finally took it's toll on me.  I couldn't get a deep enough breath to hold a note long enough to sing, and besides that, when I'd try to breath deeply, it felt like a knife was piercing my lungs.  I was so afraid, you see there is a lot of respiratory problems in my family, I come from a family of smokers, I've seen one brother die with Emphysema, two other brothers now have it and live a terrible life of not knowing when they will take their last breath, each one feels like it may be the last for them.  I have a sister that constantly  has to drag around an oxygen tank with her so she can breath.  I was determined that I wouldn't follow in those foot steps any longer, I wanted to sing for Jesus again.  I wanted to take a deep breath and have it feel good instead of stabbing pain.  I wanted to be able to get out in the fresh air and walk or run and sing as I went and as it was then, I couldn't even breath well much less talk or sing.

I went to my pastor and asked to be anointed and prayed for, the church gathered around me and they anointed me with oil and prayed that I would be delivered from the addiction that was destroying my lungs so that I could do the work that God had for me to do.  I had tried so many times to stop and couldn't do it by myself but when God touched me that day, I was completely delivered from that addiction and have never smoked another cigarette.  It's been about 18 years now.

Those are the facts of my own experience with smoking and this is just some wisdom speaking now that I learned over years of asking God for wisdom.  I don't claim to know all the medical facts so don't ask me to prove anything I say, just know that I speak from my heart and I believe everything I say to be true, or I wouldn't say it.

I believe smoking is an addiction of the flesh.  When you can't stop something just by making a decision to stop, then your free will is not in affect.  If your free will is taken away by something like smoking then it can't be pleasing to God.  Your free will will never be taken away by God.  I spoke to a young man that I love very much, and said, "don't you know those things will turn your lungs black"?  His reply just broke my heart, he said "If that's the worse thing that ever happens to me, I'll be okay".  I didn't say any thing else because I love him too much to hurt his feelings or make a nuisance of myself but I wanted to tell him that he wouldn't be okay if his lungs turn black, that they would be filled up with tars and nicotine that would be like a plaque as bad as cholesterol fills up your veins and cause heart attacks and strokes.  I wanted to cry and plead with him to stop it before it kills him.  But of course you can't do that with your friends.

I feel that it's up to the mature Christians to send messages to the young people that are healthy and good.  When the youngsters see the older Christians in the church smoking they assume it's just fine for them to do it too.  Please think about what messages you send the children.  Do you want them to start at an early age getting up in the mornings and coughing all that mess up before they can get started on their day the way you do?  Don't tell me you don't have a problem with that if you are a smoker, I've seen it too much, I had the problem for years and still denied it was harming my lungs. 

I think any addiction of the flesh is not pleasing to God and not a good witness for a Christian.  We speak of not being worldly, we speak of being in the world but not of the world, we say we want to get rid of flesh and get more spirit, we talk of being good stewards of what God gives us yet we spend tremendous amounts of money on cigarettes when people every where are in need, and we tell our children that smoking won't hurt them and that it's perfectly okay to fill their lungs with smoke and waste their money on something that may well kill them one day.  

I don't want any one to ever point a finger at me and say "why didn't you tell me smoking would do this to me" as they lay in a hospital bed dying of lung cancer or heart disease.  Smokers, think of your family and those people that love you and would grieve much over losing you if smoking takes your life prematurely.  Sure there may be some that can survive and I would never say it will keep you out of heaven, but I will say this, if you will give it over to God you'll be so glad you did.  He delivered me and He will deliver you, but you have to admit that it's an addiction of the flesh and be willing to come out of that state of denial and ask God for help.

I hope I haven't made any one angry with me but if you are angry, I still will feel the same way and I still will pray daily that the Holy Ghost will put the conviction in your heart and convince you that you need to stop smoking.

I give God praise that He delivered me.

In His love always,

Carrie Kinyon  2004