"Everyone is addicted to somethin'
Most certainly those who say "To nothin!"
It's how we were made
So don't get delayed
Chasin' after wishful thinkin'!"
What do I mean? Smokers get a bad rap!
I am all for quitting smoking and other bad habits, but I have found that smokers have been targetted by our society as "easy to hate." Sure, the side-effects of smoking are rotten, even deadly, but no worse than most of the vices our society faces.
If you are reading this blog, you or someone you know is on the road to freedom from an enslaving habit. I applaud you, and I hope I can offer some alternatives as you read a bit further. But I need to start with an important truth: You are not a bad person.
A bad habit does not make a good person bad.
The truth is, I know many wonderful people who smoke. Do I like that they smoke? No. They have good personalities, though, and they are a blessing to other people. They love their families. They try to better the world around them. Unfortunately, their skeleton just will not stay in the closet: smoking is too hard to hide for most people.
Why is a smoking habit worse than over-eating? Or gambling? Or destroying your self-esteem by always putting yourself down? Each of these habits, and so many more, are detrimental to who you are.
You see, we as humans were made to flourish. We were also made to "crave" what is good, which is exactly what opens the door to addiction. Anyone who smokes knows that it is not good. It is marketed as "cool." It calms your nerves; it becomes a comforting routine . . . but it is not good. It is painted pretty enough to get you to try it until you are hooked, and then you begin to see the lie for what it is. You craved what is good, got fooled by something that wasn't, and now you are trapped. Worse, you feel foolish.
Here is the problem, and the solution: You made a mistake, and you allowed yourself to get addicted to something that was not good. Everyone makes mistakes, but you keep re-living yours because you hate yourself for making that mistake. Please remember the truth. The truth is that you were made to seek after what is good. Just because you made a mistake once, does not mean you have to remain subjected to it.
Now that you are battling the addiction, arm yourself with the truth. The good is still out there. You are not a bad person. Mistakes are not the end of the world.
So what is the alternative to smoking? Seek and find the good that is worth craving, instead of what seemed good but wasn't. The good is out there. Good and evil are real, and good triumphs over evil.
In other words, it is time to pick yourself up, brush off the dust of your mistakes, and learn what is worth craving. The good is worth craving!
It is great to crave a good family. It is good to take the money that you would have used on cigarettes and invest it in your children's health or education. It is good to crave justice. It is good to take the time you would have used smoking to research how you can fight against human-trafficking. It is good to crave wisdom. It is good to take the desire for another "fix" and instead learn helpful knowledge and apply it influencially. It is good to crave what is good.
Cigarettes are not worth our time, nor is most of what the tobacco industry offers. However, the farmers and businessmen in the industry are not bad people, and neither are the smokers, or the non-smokers. Bad people do exist, but the vast majority of folks are good people deceived by lies and trapped by the desires of their flesh.
So I challenge you today: What will you crave?