I can't believe in this day and age we still have slavery in America. No, not the kind you might be thinking of, but a kind of slavery to which people voluntarily submit themselves.
I see it everywhere I go; Wal-Mart, restaurants, pools, the lake, shopping malls, yes, even church. Most people don't consider it slavery, but I sure do. Most participants consider it a pleasure and many claim to enjoy being a slave, but there is, thankfully, a growing opposition to this problem.
I'm talking about smoking.
"What a minute!" I can hear you say. "I'm not a slave to smoking!"
What's the first thing you think about in the morning?
What's the thing that you can't wait to do at a break?
What's the thing that you get mad about if someone criticizes it?
What's the thing that you hide from your parents, children, or even preacher?
What's the thing that you have to stop every so often and do because you "have to?"
What's the thing that you have to do immediately after each and every meal?
What's the thing that you have to have just one more before you go to bed?
What's the thing that you will endure freezing wind, driving rain, or hellish heat to stand outside and have one?
What's the thing that you want to stop doing, but just can't.
I'm sure not talking about drinking water!
I saw a woman in Wal-Mart the other day carrying around an unlit cigarette in her hand and would occasionally put it to her lips.
I see people standing out in bitterly cold temperatures taking a drag.
I see people sneaking off to do it because they don't want anyone to know. And by the way, breath mints DON'T cover up the smokey smell on your clothes...
The way I see it, smokers are slaves to their habits. When a habit (any habit) rules your life this much, it is sin. The Bible says that when we are in Christ Jesus that, "sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace."
When we begin to see bad habits as sin, we should be repulsed by the fact that we have submitted ourselves to be slaves to that habit and the habit becomes our master. It shouldn't be this way.
For those that have not placed their trust in Jesus Christ, go ahead and try the patches or the 12 step programs; sometimes they work, I guess. But don't kid yourself; you are still a slave to sin. Jesus can free you from the sin and give you a good clean start-over. Email me if you want to know how...
(and I'm not being legalistic about this; I'm calling the "not being able to stop" part about this habit the "sin" part)