Watching Point 332
From 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter
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332 — WATCH lest you be a tobacco user in God’s sight without realizing it. The error of smoking is the enjoyment of a human sense of relaxation, with thought wholly off guard. A student is a smoker in God’s sight, if he indulges habitually in periods of unguarded mental inactivity. Such a one is actually worse off than the tobacco user, since the latter has an outward sign to indicate his inward error, while the one who relaxes mentally to enjoy human harmony, has nothing to warn him of his error.
Habits indicate mental inertia — yielding to the human mind. Unless truth brings release, no habit is overcome because the outward form is changed through willpower. Smoking is leaning — relying on matter for com- fort and enjoyment. When one overcomes it by willpower, he becomes less of a leaner and more self-reliant. This serves to strengthen the hold the human mind has on him. The right way to overcome smoking is to lean more, by leaning on Spirit instead of matter; just as the right way to overcome a false sense of love, or immorality, is not to love less, but to love more, being sure that one’s love is for God and His idea. This is a rebuke to those who seek to take refuge in coldness and hardness, in order to protect themselves from a false sense of love.