I am really happy to host my first guest blog! Christine is one of the regular contributors to the #Rom2Rev Twitter Bible study that I’m participating in. We are currently reading 1 Corinthians and are being challenged once again by Paul’s writing, but Christine tells us how Paul’s words inspired her in this short testimony.
“Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit that is in you”
1 Corinthians 6:19
Paul wrote these words in a passage about sexual immorality but for me these words were my ‘Get out of jail free’ card in my struggle with my addiction to cigarette-smoking.
Like several smokers, I had several smoke-free ‘seasons’ in my life and I thought I’d given up for good, only to get ‘hooked’ again when the going got really tough.
I realise now that that my earlier efforts to give up failed in the long-term because of my main motivation: pride. I didn’t want to be beaten by ‘Lady Nicotine’.
Another thing I found hard, when I was a smoker, was the condemning attitude of some (but by no means all) Christians I knew, despite the fact that I did not smoke in their presence and they were not affected by ‘passive smoking’. However, their condemnation was not my greatest problem. I had a far greater problem with the way I responded to the condemnation – in my heart and sometimes verbally. I became embattled, trying to think of ways of defending myself and giving people subtle and less-than-subtle reminders that they weren’t saints either: pride, again! This preoccupation was turning me away from God in that I was becoming self-righteous and judgemental myself.
1 Corinthians 6:19 won where my pride lost because – probably thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit in me – I became overwhelmingly thankful for God’s gift of life and overwhelmingly heart-broken that I had treated my body so badly by invading it with cigarette toxins. This was not what God had in mind when he created me. Yet I knew that God had forgiven me and I was overwhelmed by that, too.
I wept many tears of remorse.
I wept many tears of joy and relief.
I have not smoked since. I was set free from my ‘prison’ of addiction.
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives…’
‘For you were bought at a price;
Therefore glorify God in your body
And in your spirit,
Which are God’s.’
1 Corinthians 6:20
Christine Quinn-Jones 17-08-2014