One cigarette a day, oh my Precious!

I’m reading by JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. One of the most compelling themes is the Ring itself. It possesses its owner and generates a psychotic jealousy. Many desire the ring and are willing to do anything to have it. One particularly loathsome character, Gollum, calls the Ring “My Precious”. It makes me recall the rings in my life. I remember when I used to smoke cigarettes. I cut way back after a while, but I still smoked one before bedtime. Just one. Meanwhile I would preach the dangers of tobacco to my children. I was so desperate to have that smoke that I would hurry my children anxiously or even aggressively to bed. The Marlboro Man waited for me. But it’s just one lousy smoke, what’s the big deal? Beyond the fact that even just one cigarette per day significantly increases the risk of heart and lung disease there was a deeper problem. It was my Precious. The rings in our lives make us behave irrationally. They make us spit in the eye of reason. Rather than rely on God’s grace we hobble around on a crutch. The drinker or addict convinces him or herself that they can handle it. They convince themselves of this every day. And, speaking from personal experience, they might even convince themselves that God has cured them of their alcohol problem to justify their weekend-only beer drinking. The ring can morph into very wicked forms. One subtle but very real danger for the Christian is the desire to be the one that does/creates good rather than being an instrument of good or letting good happen on its own. The overwhelming desire to prove a point is many a Christian’s Precious as well. We are much better off busily tending the sheep. A Gollum lives in each and every one of us. Some are more obvious than others. But he’s there sniveling and plotting how to protect his Precious no matter what the cost. He hurts himself. He hurts others. Just so long as he can keep his Precious nothing else matters. Pride and shame drive us into oblivion. We might reduce these rings, we might whittle them down so as to appear non-existent upon casual observation. But minimization is not the same as eradication. As long as they live within us we are at risk of transforming into a blood thirsty Gollum. The only way to purge ourselves is honesty. It appears terrifying and exasperates us. What will I do without my Precious? Examine your conscience. Admit your problem. Then grab it by the neck and yank it out by the root. God will never force us to be healed, and He will never turn us away either. Recognize the ring and let it be cast into the fiery pit. Let God’s healing fire consume it and obliterate it. Be free. [img]

@lineman
D Kelley @lineman ·

HI,

Just wanted to say thanks for helping us see how the simple little things in our own lives are making slaves out of us. Even if we are not willing to accept this fact, it is true.

You wrote,[quote]God will never force us to be healed. . . . [/quote]

As I read your blog I thought of a quote I had read quite some time ago which was along the same line of thought as yours. [quote]God will never lead His children in a way other than what they would choose if they could see the end from the beginning.[/quote]
Our God wants us to get rid of ALL the little "precious" things in our lives that hurt us so that we can be truly free and happy. But why does it seem so hard for us to see that? God just wants us to LIVE and be HAPPY!

I guess I know the answer to "why" though. You and I cannot do anything without Jesus, right?. We cannot even WANT to be free of all the little Precious's in our lives, until we are OK with Jesus giving us that total desire. And so until you and I see the evil thing our "little Precious" is we will not be "willing to be made willing". We will not be OK with God taking something away that we value, even if it hurts us to keep it.

C-17°|F1°Lord, make me "willing to be made willing". I want You to do whatever You need to do to make me like You.[/h1]

Blessings,
Dan

@tinaesanil
Tina Edwin @tinaesanil ·

Good blog !!

I am sure this blog of yours is going to touch so many ..
Thank you for sharing

@jdjames
Joanne Douglas @jdjames ·

Hi, clayonmyeyes. Great blog today, as always, I enjoy the truths revealed in your observations and beautiful writings. My 18 year old nephew, who had quit smoking, found a pack he had hidden when he returned home from rehab. "just one", he told himself. Sadly he now works more to support his renewed habit than to enjoy his summer job and the better rewards of hard work. I pray he does not allow the precious, just one, lead him back to the addictions he worked hard to cut away. How much we all do that "just one more" time, if even in our thoughts or the opposite, put off something we should be doing for just one more day. God Bless. jd

@sharingsfromsam
Samantha Wallace @sharingsfromsam ·

Thank you for this excellent perspective, which I believe God inspired you with ie seeing it as our precious! I am currently writing a book for Christians who smoke and would like to ask if you will allow me to quote some of what you've written?

@theresa1111
Theresa Miller @theresa1111 ·

This was spot on Dan! It wasn't until I repented through the blood of Jesus then really, really, really soaked in the glory light of his ascension with all my heart was I healed of a smoking and beer drinking addiction that was most certainly my precious for three long years. I tried so many times to stop and would for a few days, maybe even a week, even 6 weeks once, but that "just this once" thing always sent me flying back down into the abyss. We so need Jesus. Anyone who thinks they don't is just whistlin' dixie. Peace and Love! Theresa

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