Is smoking cigarettes as sin? The Bible does not have a direct law or instruction about smoking. But it is against the spirit of taking care of our bodies.
Is getting a tattoo a sin? Yes- The Bible does have a specific law about marking our bodies either by cutting or making marks on our skin.
You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:28 (New American Standard Version- NAS)
What’s my reason for wanting to smoke or getting a tattoo?-
Ask yourself…Who do I want to identify with? Reality TV, celebrities, hipsters, people I follow on social media? Or do I want to identify myself with God, step away from the world to please God, even if it is not the popular thing to do?
Maybe your motivation is not because of what others are doing, and you say “I’m not hurting anyone else if I smoke or get tattooed, it’s my body and it’s a personal choice.”
Again ask yourself… Am I doing what I want and what makes me feel good (following my flesh) or do I want to please God and do what he wants me to do (following God’s spirit)? See the scripture below:
“…(we) do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit… For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so.” Romans 8:4-7 (HCSB)
You might be thinking… Ok tattooing is clearly a sin so I won’t do it, but smoking is not clearly written about in the Bible, so maybe it will still be ok. If the scriptures above haven’t moved you toward thinking smoking is a fleshly/worldly activity, remember no one started smoking for good, honorable, and virtuous reasons or to honor God. No one starts smoking because it is healthy for your body. There are laws and warnings because it really is bad for your health, may lead to addiction, and might open doors to other more dangerous behaviors.
In many places in the Bible God clearly lets us know that we should honor our bodies to honor Him.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” 1Corinthians 6:19-20
The lessons in the scriptures above not only apply to smoking or getting tattoos, but to all other areas of life where you want to say “I’m sure it’s ok” or “It won’t hurt if I do it one time”. There won’t always be a scripture to say if that thing is or is not a sin, but the basic principle of putting down our pride and our self-interest in order to please God is always a good perspective if you are in doubt. Am I doing what I want and what feels good, or am I doing what will please God?
So honor the body God gave you by not getting a tattoo and not smoking. ☺
We hope this helps. Please feel free to write back with any more questions on this topic or any other.