Updated: Oct 18, 2020
1. “How do you think God feels about using Marijuana? Is it a sin?”
Firstly, I commend you for seeking wisdom and understanding rather than going with your view on the matter. The bible says many advisers make victory sure and I pray God will reward your humility with a God-given conviction. I must say this is a tough one to answer because there is nowhere in the bible where it mentions marijuana. It’s one where you have to pray for wisdom and understanding to fully grasp a conviction on.
I’ll share my conviction with you.
Firstly, from what I’ve gathered about marijuana it’s intoxicating, and with intoxication comes a loss of self-control and discernment. This is incredibly problematic for someone who has surrendered their will to the Lordship of Jesus, because every minute of every day we are thrown with all sorts of temptations to fall back into a life of sin, and we most certainly can’t practice self-control under the influence of marijuana. It’s for this very reason that I believe drunkness is a sin (see Galatians 5:19-21). The Bible warns and encourages in these below scriptures:
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” – Ephesians 5:18 ESV
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19 ESV
Secondly, it’s important to ask yourself why you want to smoke marijuana or desire to. Is it something you’ve grown dependent on, something you feel you can’t live without, something you take to escape reality or something you believe gives you peace and joy. The first thing to note if you answered yes to any of these is that the Bible calls that debauchery. Let me explain, in my understanding marijuana is a herb that God created and has great healing property. In and of itself it’s not bad or a sin, just as alcohol is not a sin. It’s the overindulging of anything that God created or manipulating its properties to meet our needs that makes it debauchery. And debauchery is a sin.
I would note that a relationship with God is something that we have in place of our own will and that also means it dictates where and how we find our joy, peace, comfort, security and satisfaction, and that is in Him through the Holy Spirit (See Galatians 6:22-24). And if we’re not walking according to the desires of the Spirit, we’re walking according to the desires of the flesh.
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12
“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” – 1 Peter 4:1-6 ESV
I’d say from what I see in scripture, although smoking marijuana is not mentioned in the Bible it is a sin on three accounts: intoxication/drunkenness, debauchery and lack of self-control. For that reason, I don’t smoke it and wouldn’t advise anyone who is pursuing an intimate relationship with Jesus to do so either.
2. “Hello Lovedgirlmag. I struggle with patience and anger. How do I deal with it“
Thank you for your question. Firstly I want you to know that the feeling of anger is the same as the feeling of sadness. It’s not a sin. But what you do when angry determines whether you have sinned or not. That ranges from throwing a fit, tantrums, getting violent, holding grudges, bitterness etc.
“In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Ephesians 4:26 NIV
The first sentence of this scripture notes the short term way of dealing with anger. It prompts me to find technics to help me not to sin as a result of anger. For me that’s calling a friend, praying or meditating on scripture.
The second part of the scripture notes the long term way of dealing with anger. I believe the reason the scripture advises us not to go to bed while still angry, is because once anger settled in our hearts it takes root. And once that happens, we’re like a bomb waiting to explode. Anything and everything will trigger us (that’s where the problem of patience may come in). Once I start struggling with anger I ask myself if any negative emotions have gone unnoticed. Once I note those, speak through them with a trusted spiritual adviser or someone whose faith I look up to and we can pray through those emotions, that leads to healing. See scriptures below:
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 NIV
I’d advise, however, that you deal with anger immediately before it takes root. And you study out Biblical conflict resolution.
3. “How do I move from inconsistency in my relationship with God? It constantly feels like I am two steps forward and five steps back.”
I’d say to remain a consistent Christian who is growing and enjoying spiritual growth, you have to make a decision that your relationship with God is the most important thing. The way Paul talks about his spiritual like is exemplary of what this means:
“… I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight like I am beating the air. No, I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:27 NIV
The imagery Paul gives shows the seriousness at which he takes his relationship with God. It takes making up your mind that its the most important thing to you. Whatever you see value in, you prioritize, and what you prioritize, you make time for, and not only that but you also protect. My relationship with God is important to me, and its number one in my priority list. As a result, at the beginning of the year, I create a vision board at the back of my journal. There I write what I want my relationship with God to look like at the end of the year. Sometimes I start this in May, or the middle of the year. That becomes my vision and map. With incredible wisdom, Solomon in Proverbs says:
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” – Proverbs 29:18 KJV
Typically my vision is inspired by women I look up to in the faith or men/women I read about in the Bible. After I have compiled a list of very clear areas I want to grow in and these can range from reading the bible every day to growing in patience or becoming more compassionate and gentle etc, I then pray through these desires. I then share these with my trusted friends and spiritual advisers. With the goal of them holding me accountable.
Another thing to note is that sometimes you may feel like you’re regressing but you’re not. Spiritual growth is not linear, its a spiral. If your specific struggle is that you have struggled for a while with one thing and after you think you have found a solution, it comes back again, then take heart and know that God is working on your heart. Every time your struggle comes back, God is solidifying the conviction you received the last time you overcame, and that is perfectly normal.
4. “How to overcome the situation when you feel that Satan is trying to use you.”
I wish we were having this conversation face to face so that I could ask more questions such as: what is the situation and how do you think Satan is using you? But I will give you a blanket statement type of advice, which is, do not play in the Devil’s playground. Satan is not a friend of any Christian. His goal is always to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He is like a prowling lion looking for someone to devour and if you feel like Satan is trying to use you or meddle in your life, or there is sin that is crouching at your door (Genesis 4:7) I would advise that you do what Joseph did and flee. Cut it off, get rid of it immediately and don’t look back. Jesus says in Matthew 5:29-30:
“If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown int hell. And if your right-hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to depart into hell.”
In other words, be radical about anything that may be a stumbling block in your relationship with God.
By Nothando Matshoba