I’m going to be perfectly blunt, I don’t like cigarettes. I don’t like the smell, the fact that people believe throwing them on the ground isn’t littering (I don’t get this one), and probably the cancer they cause.
But sometimes, I don’t like people who smoke them (just sometimes). This is bad and that is why I am confessing it now. Its not really that I don’t like them, but I do judge them and look at them differently.
Let me give you an example of how my judgment led to my shame on the mission trip. The church had a no tobacco/alcohol policy on the site due to the scores of youth participating in the restoration in Bay St. Louis. Fine with me, I could live without a beer for a week.
But the problem was that even some of the Lagniappe staff workers and interns smoked cigarettes on site. I just noticed it a few times. And so I thought to myself, “I guess they are not too picky about who they bring on staff here.”
And then one night I had a conversation with one of “The Smokers.” Wow. It was the most encouraging and challenging conversation I had the whole week. He spoke of how God had called him there, how He had graciously supported him (all the staff are on support; but this guy didn’t ask anyone for a dime-all the money came from 2 unsolicited resources!), and how it was the hardest work of his life and yet he was “having the time of his life.” Even further proof that there is a supernatural joy that comes when you lay your life down.
I was ashamed at myself for judging this man. I should have looked at the planks in my own eye. While I still think smoking is not a good habit, I hope to be less judgmental toward smokers. There seems, at least in my own heart, a stigma toward smoking. But in reality, gossip and sins of the tongue are way worse-and actually mentioned in the bible. In addition, I have plenty of stuff in which you or they could be judgmental toward me. I hope I can remember that.