Addiction is addiction. I am not saying, “Once an addict always an addict,” as some secular treatment centers do. But for someone who has been delivered from drugs and alcohol, why hang on to a nicotine addiction? It is a physical addiction, and God does not want you to struggle with such a burden.
Treatment centers that work the Twelve Steps will actually encourage you to keep smoking so that you are not struggling to quit all of your addictions at once. That’s the problem! We cannot “quit” these addictions. When we are physically addicted, and God has not set us free, then we must rely on our strength alone, and we are setting ourselves up for failure. That is a task that we cannot handle. We need the power and grace of God to take those addictions away.
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. (1 Corinthians 3:16–17)
When we turn our lives over to Jesus Christ, His Spirit fills us and our body is literally filled with God’s Holy Spirit. Not just nicotine, but anything that is damaging to our body, pollutes our temple. God desires us to abstain. We can never accomplish perfection in our flesh, but we can choose to give the things we know are wrong to God. We must give Him a clean temple to dwell. We want to follow the example of Jesus and the CEO of Louisiana Teen Challenge: Reverend Greg Dill once said, “Could you imagine Jesus giving that great sermon of the beatitudes while smoking a Camel or chewing on some Levi Garret?”
I have been with Louisiana Teen Challenge for fifteen years and have seen hundreds come through our doors. We do not allow tobacco at our facilities, and I have not yet seen a single person who is living a successful, addiction-free life in Christ decide to pick up cigarettes after graduation. I often tell students, “Is this a statistic that you would want to be a part of?” God has called us to holiness.
But like as he who called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living; because it is written, Ye shall be holy; for I am holy 1 Peter 1:15