A False Friend
You have a “friend” you met in your youth. He made you feel more mature and seemed to help you fit in with your peers. When you were stressed, you could always turn to him for some “relief.” Indeed, you have come to depend on him in many situations.
But in time, you discovered his dark side. He demands to be with you all the time, even if this makes you unwelcome in some places. And while he may have made you feel more mature, he did so at the cost of your health. To top it off, he has stolen a part of your wages.
In recent times, you have tried to break off the relationship, but he has not let you. In a way, he has become your master. You regret ever having met him.
SUCH is the relationship that many smokers have with the cigarette. After 50 years of smoking, a woman named Earline recalls: “The cigarette could help me more than having another person around. It was more than just an old friend—sometimes it was my only friend.” As Earline came to realize, though, the cigarette is, in fact, both a false friend and a vicious one. Indeed, the opening words above could have been written about her—with one exception. When she learned that smoking is bad in God’s eyes because it pollutes our God-given bodies, she quit her habit.—2 Corinthians 7:1.
A man named Frank also decided to quit in order to please God. But a day or so after he had his last cigarette, he found himself crawling under his house looking for old cigarette butts that had fallen between the floorboards. “That clinched it,” said Frank. “Finding myself on my hands and knees scratching through dirt for old butts disgusted me. I never had another smoke.”
Why does tobacco have such a grip? Researchers have discovered a number of reasons: (1) Tobacco products can be as addictive as illicit drugs. (2) Inhaled nicotine may reach the brain in just seven seconds. (3) Smoking is often woven into a person’s life by its regular association with eating, drinking, conversing, the relief of stress, and so on.
Yet, as Earline and Frank have shown, it is possible to quit this harmful addiction. If you smoke but want to stop, reading the following articles may well be the start of a new way of life for you.