|Vol. 1, No. 5||Page 13||May 1999|
What Does Simon Say Now!
The above scenario is probably not an unusual occurrence. Studies conducted in 1997 show that an alarming number of students use or have used various drugs. Forty-seven point one percent of students reported use of marijuana in their life, while 26.2% claimed to be current users. The figures show this drug to be the most widely used. Cocaine use was reported as 8.2% of students using at least once and 3.3% of students currently using the drug. In addition, 7% of the students surveyed admitted to using marijuana on school property while 31.7% reported they had been offered, sold or given an illegal drug while on school property in the past year. (http://www.cdc.gov/) These figures should be alarming to everyone.
Some may ask, “What is wrong with using drugs?” The answer comes from two different sections of life. First, it is wrong by the standards set by society. Though many do not think the use of drugs is wrong, our government and many world governments have devised laws to govern the use and possession of drugs. Statistics also show that drug abuse destroys our society. Consider the individual. The abuse of drugs deteriorates the health of the consumer. He is no longer a productive part of society. Many times drug abusers break other laws to ensure they have their drug of choice. The result is an increase of theft, murder, physical abuse to family members and other violent crimes. Because of the actions of one individual, society as a whole is affected in a negative way. For many years the use and abuse of drugs has been a problem to individuals, families, churches, schools and governments.
The second, and most important, reason the improper use of drugs is wrong comes from the Bible. Consider the inspired words of the apostle Paul in Romans 12:1-2. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” One who abuses drugs and therefore harms his body is not fulfilling his duty of being a “living sacrifice, holy, acceptable.” When we use drugs to “escape” the world or because peers have urged us to try them, we are not transforming but conforming.
Drug abuse not only harms our bodies, it also impairs our ability to think. First Timothy 3:1-7 gives the qualifications of an elder. One such qualification is for the man to be sober. Titus 2:3 exhorts women to be sober and verse 4 teaches young men to be sober minded. One who is sober can carefully weigh his words and actions against what the Bible says. Such a person can then be the example he needs to be for Christ (Matthew 5:16; 1 Timothy 4:12). Drugs cloud the brain and interfere with the ability to act as one knows he should.
It is never too soon to discuss the dangers of drug abuse with children. From the earliest age, explain to children the importance of taking medicine only when sick. Tell what can happen when the directions are not followed carefully. As children get older and begin to spend time with friends away from the watchful eye of a parent, talk frequently about the dangers of illegal drugs and misuse of legal drugs. Most important of all, always know who your child is with and what they are doing.
Recall, for a moment, the fate of Frank and Simon.
We don’t know why Simon held the drug. Maybe Frank told him it would
be all right, nothing could happen to him by just holding the drug or trying
it once. It could be that Simon was just curious (remember the cat)
or possibly he wanted to try drugs to escape some difficulty he was having.
No matter the reason, Simon learned his lesson the hard way. He will
miss his last weeks of middle school with his friends. His records
will show he had drugs on school property and he spent time in alternative
school, out of a regular classroom. Don’t let peer pressure, a wish
to escape the difficulties of life, or curiosity ruin your future.
Always do what is right; follow the Bible way.