By Wendell Elms
We have all been warned and are well aware of the dangers of breathing in secondhand smoke. The majority of restaurants and public places have reacted positively by banning smoking within their businesses. Prior to this I had often made a quick trip into a convenience store only to get back to the car and have my wife ask me if I’d picked up a smoking habit. Catch the drift?
There is a question we should carefully think about: whose air are you breathing? While we certainly want to avoid inhaling cigarette smoke that can cause cancer in the body, thus producing death, we must also be very careful of the source of smoke we are inhaling into our spirit. It’s a subtle thing.
Many are the temptations of the world; therefore I must guard my spirit and soul. If I let -my eyes look at wrong things, or let my ears listen to the venting of someone bitter and angry, or let my mind wander into wrong places, I’m placing myself in the smoke that can destroy my soul.
Social media, be it worldly or Christian, has been known to produce a secondhand smoke that can be dangerous to inhale. God’s Word tells me I must keep a guard on my heart (Proverbs 1:23), not allowing criticism into my mind, or things that speak evil of dignities ( Jude 8), or the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life (1 John 2:16). No one will guard my heart for me; I must take the initiative. I must build fences around myself that keep me in a pure, safe place. I have inhaled secondhand smoke from a bitter spirit, only to walk away having embraced their bitterness within myself. I had to cleanse myself at the altar. Secondhand smoke can be a killer.
I must also be careful in the choosing of friends, for I will become like who I hang around. I once shot a skunk in the wrong place, which was a bad thing. The stifling stink filled the air. After confirming it was dead, I went home. When I walked in the house it was very obvious what I had been around. I didn’t realize how bad I smelled, but my wife sure did.
I’ve left people feeling refreshed and pure in my spirit, and I’ve left people with a dirty feeling. What a difference! Let that dirty feeling serve as a warning to find friends that leave you feeling refreshed and clean. Remember Amnon had a friend named Jonadab (2 Samuel 13). Amnon breathed in Jonadab’s smoke (advice), and ultimately it caused Amnon’s death. Paul wrote in Romans 1 about those who took pleasure in other’s sins. While not being directly involved, the pleasure of watching others as they sin has the same effect on your spirit as secondhand smoke.
Finally, as a parent, we must be very careful what secondhand smoke we bring into our homes. Our spirit, our fears, anxieties, frustrations, anger, dislikes, and arguing leaves us and goes right into the spirits of our children. Our words and example wafts right into their hearts, minds, and spirits. What we breathe into them as they grow up around directly influences how they view, handle, and respond to life’s issues. They will do like you did because it’s the way they learned from you.
Please consider whose smoke you’re breathing. It could make all the difference. God bless you today!