Vol.XI No.VI Pg.6
August 1974

"Under The Power"

Robert F. Turner

Gods creatures have one thing truly their own, i.e., themselves. In a marvelous act of self-limitation God created man in His own image; giving man the power of choice, subject only to final judgement at the throne of God. Mans environment, this sin-cursed world, exerts tremendous pressure upon the human will, so that often what I would, that do I not (Rom. 7:15); but the capacity to will to serve God remains, so that through Jesus Christ we can be justified.

Adams sin, or the sin of others, cannot enslave us; it is our own sin that brings us spiritual death (Rom. 5:12, cf. Ezek. 18:19-f). Since we can escape the consequences of sin only by avoiding all sin possible, and by submitting our will to Jesus Christ so that our sins will be forgiven, it becomes apparent that the basic struggle of man is to keep himself untrammeled by earthly things, free to himself to the Lord. (Prov. 4:23 Matt. 16:24). No wonder Paul was so determined: I will not be brought under the power of any. (1 Cor. 6:12)

Anything that limits my freedom of choice— that binds itself upon me —has taken from me some portion of the one thing I have to give to Christ. Read the following with this in mind.

Dr. M.A.H. Russell, in the British Medical Journal, May 8, 1971, (Cigarette Dependence: 1- Nature and Classification) wrote: A teenager need smoke only twice to have a 70% chance of smoking for the next 40 years if he lives so long.

This follows from the facts that only 15% of adolescents who smoke more than one cigarette avoid becoming regular smokers, and that only about 15% of smokers stop permanently before the age of 60.

However, it is apparent that the onset of smoking during adolescence is determined by an interaction of social and psychological factors, while the maintenance is due largely to dependence on the pharmacological effects of nicotine.... Three out of four current smokers either wish to or have tried to stop smoking, yet only about one in four succeeds in becoming a permanent ex-smoker. Thus most smokers smoke not because they wish to but because they cannot easily stop. This is a feature of dependence disorder.

Smoking is certainly associated with other dependence disorders; 92% of alcoholics and 99% of heroin addicts are smokers compared with 58% of the general population. Intermittent or occasional cigarette smoking occurs only in about 2% of smokers. People who smoke at all sooner or later become regular, dependent smokers.

In a second article (Cigarette Dependence: 2- Doctors Role in Management; British Medical Journal of May 15, 1971) Dr. Russell wrote: About half of all smokers remain complacent and profess to be happy about their smoking. This they achieve by using face-saving psychological defenses such as rationalization and denial.