Thou Shalt Not Smoke Dope?

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Q. I know a lot of people who smoke pot. I tell them it's wrong, but they won't listen to me. Are there any verses in the Bible to convince them that this is wrong?

A. Like many modern issues we face every day, there are verses in the Bible that relate to this issue. No, there aren't any verses that specifically say, "Thou shalt not smoke pot." But other passages do address issues we can apply to the decision of whether to smoke pot. Here are three verses that offer wisdom and guidance:

1) "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own" (1 Corinthians 6:19, NIV).

Your body is a rental. It belongs to God. You want to treat it well. In fact, if you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit of God actually dwells in your body. So does smoking pot honor your body or the Holy Spirit? No. It takes you out of control, changes who you are and can lead to other drug use or addiction. The body is God's temple, and we should keep it free of substances that draw us away from him.

2) "Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you" (Ephesians 5:18, NLT).

This is talking about drunkenness from alcohol, but it's the same concept. Pot causes a person to be intoxicated. You can lose control. Many people who smoke pot violate their values because they are high. So, it's impossible to be high on any substance (including pot) and walking in the Spirit of God at the same time. Either the intoxication will rule your life or the Spirit will.

3) "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus …" (Colossians 3:17, NIV).

If a person truly desires to live for God in word and deed, then everything they do will be to give respect and honor to the Lord. Smoking pot doesn't fit that description. I can't imagine that someone truly living for Christ would think this would be a way to live a life that glorifies and worships our Lord.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure these verses will change your friends' minds about pot. For that to happen, they'd need to be willing to open their hearts to God's plan for their lives. Probably the best way to reach them will be through modeling a lifestyle that says to your friends: "I'm having a great life without pot."

Jim is an author, longtime youth worker and founder of HomeWord, a group seeking to honor God through strong families.

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