With the possible exception of speeding on the highways, possession of drugs is almost certainly the most widely committed crime in the United States. It is said that as many as 20 million Americans have at one time or another tried drugs. The Pentagon states that about 30% of the U.S. troops in Vietnam and over 50% of undergraduates in several large universities have tried marijuana.1
You may ask, “What do these facts and statistics have to do with me, a Protestant Reformed young person?” This is a good question and one, I think, that should not be overlooked.
Protestant Reformed youth are curious and love excitement and adventure, just as all young people do. This curiosity may be pricked when reports of drugs and their effects are heard. It is reported that by taking drugs, a person may experience a state of euphoria, with different objects taking on new shapes and colors. New smells and sounds may flood the senses and new thoughts about oneself and his relationship to other arise in the mind.2 Don’t reports like these stir up excitement in you? Wouldn’t it be fun to try drugs just once? When thoughts like these arise in your mind, the words of God in I Corinthians 6:19 and 20 must be remembered. “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have in God; and ye are not your own? For ye are brought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” This is one of the many ways that Satan employs to tempt a child of God and, through the grace and strength of God, we must reply, “Get thee behind me, Satan.”
But curiosity is not the only reason for experimentation with drugs. Pressures and tensions are also basic reasons. Protestant Reformed youth, like all other young people of our generation, also feel the pressures that come from living in this busy age. There is no getting away from them. There are pressures in school, at our jobs, in society, and sometimes even in our own homes that may plague us. Other times life in general makes us depressed. It is natural to want to be rid of these crushing feelings but is it natural to turn to drugs as a deliverer? To a child of the world it may be. Drugs such as barbiturates are said to be able to attain a feeling of well-being and security. Other drugs help the taker to become more relaxed and get him away from the tension and pressure of everyday living.3 What more could a person ask for? Oh, yes, it is stated that a bad “trip” can occur and also psychological dependency but those are just the chances a person has to take. It is also illegal to have some drugs in your possession and could cause a person to end up in jail. But this, again, is just one more hurdle that can be jumped. How can a Christian answer to these temptations and how can he cope with all the pressures and tensions that are part of life on this earth?
The answer is found in prayer. Go to God with your problems. Go to Him with the assurance that he will hear you and provide peace and tranquility in your soul in His own way. It is wonderful how He can lift the pressing burden from off your shoulders and onto His own. Remember His promise that He has given you in Psalms 55:22, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee; He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
1. Reader’s Digest, “The Drug Scene,” Dec. 1970, pp. 88.
2. American Medical Association, The Crutch That Cripples: Drug Dependence.”
Originally Published in:
Vol. 31 No. 1 March 1971