I’m going to start off this blog by recognizing the fact that Jesus Christ is a lot like Mr. Clean. The day you accept Him as your savior, He starts scrubbing you clean from the inside out – such is the work of the Holy Spirit. I have experienced radical transformation over the last year that I’ve walked with Him, so my thoughts on this topic could change as I grow. If they do, I’ll update this webpage. As it stands today, this is a topic I’m extremely passionate about and this blog is long overdue. Here is my take on marijuana use as a born-again Christian.
I’m a big fan of Jesus Christ, but Paul the Apostle comes in a close second to men I look to for solid spiritual advice. Makes sense, since Paul spent three years with Jesus after the resurrection, being trained and equipped for Paul’s own ministry to come.
As Christians, we are called to be holy. We are called to be obedient to our father and to obey the great commandment: love God and love one another. Unlike the jews prior to Christ’s death and resurrection, we Christians are under no law, because Jesus Christ did the work for us. He defeated death to save our souls; and in addition to eternal life with Him, those of us who believe are given the gift of the Holy Spirit while here on Earth.
The Holy Spirit does a lot of things for us – but one of the biggest things He does which is relevant to this topic is that He convicts us of our sins. If you have a healthy relationship with the Lord and you have an abundant prayer life and you spend time in His word, your discernment should be trustworthy. You should know whether or not what you’re doing is a sin – you will both feel it and know it. In addition to convicting us, the Holy Spirit empowers us to serve God. If my marijuana use is a stumbling block in my service to the Lord, the Holy Spirit will convict me of that sin. Guaranteed.
In the book of Galatians, Paul tells us that there is no law against such things as gentleness, self control, faithfulness, and peace and patience, among other virtues. He also reminds us in his letter to Corinth that everything is permitted for us in Jesus Christ – but not everything is beneficial.
What actually defines sin for those of us who have accepted Christ as our savior? If everything is permitted, how can something be considered sinful? I don’t think the Lord purposefully confuses us, but rather trusts us to use our discernment as we surrender to the Holy Spirit about what may cause us to step out of His will for our lives. And truth be told, I think that is different for each and every one of us.
In 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul specifically indicates that we are not to be mastered by anything. He goes on to say in the same letter that everything we do must be done for the glory of God.
My friends all know me as the really passionate “Bible thumping” friend. My Christian friends love it, and my non-Christian friends tolerate it. Even my customers at work who don’t know me super personally – they are aware, if they come in, God is going to get brought up during conversation. Jesus is truly the light of my life, and I am not afraid to share about that. I live a life dedicated to my father in Heaven. I crave His presence. I start every day in a posture of prayer and submission to Him, and I seek His counsel in every decision I make. Now, in terms of obedience, there’s been more than a time or two I’ve had to learn a lesson the hard way, but as I grow in my faith and I see that obedience produces more faith and more blessings, I get better each day about following His lead. Glory to God, He is so good!
But I digress.
Marijuana in and of itself is not inherently sinful. It is a plant that our creator put here for a reason. Some plants don’t serve medicinal purposes for humans, and some plants will even kill you if you eat or consume them; so we know not all plants were put here for us as much as the eco system as a whole. But marijuana is not a plant that serves a primary purpose of supporting the eco system. Marijuana is highly medicinal (for both people and animals), and I see it help hundreds of people and pets who walk into my store every year.
So when, then, does marijuana use become sinful?
When it becomes more important than the fruitful works you are called to complete in Christ Jesus.
We all have things in life that can consume us if we don’t stay focused on the Lord. Some of us eat too much when we’re sad or stressed – that’s a sin. Some of us drink too much when we’re angry. That’s a sin. Some of us use foul language and trash the name of someone we love when they hurt our feelings – that is a sin as well, and I am the chief! (Told you I was a big fan of Paul 😎)
If the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is use marijuana because I can’t imagine my morning without the head change brought on by THC, this is a sin. This dependence – or addiction – grieves the Holy Spirit. If I’m seeking that head change to start my day, then where am I leaving room for the Lord to fill my soul? Where does God fall into my list of priorities? Seeking Him should remain before and above all things.
King David writes in Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” and boy is he right! The Lord is my strength, HE is the one I turn to in times of fear, or sadness or angst. He is the one who softens my heart against unforgiveness and extreme discord. Jesus is my safe place, my resting comfort and my best friend. This is the relationship we are called to have with Him.
If I find myself struggling to have that full dependence on God, but I find that marijuana fills those needs for me – then it is time to admit my marijuana use is sinful.
Paul tells us not to be slaves to wine – but drinking wine in a fruitful fashion is not prohibited in any text of the word of God.
And in my humble opinion as a lover of Jesus Christ and follower of His teachings, I truly believe the same goes for marijuana.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”