Wyatt stared at the ceiling, a troubled frown on his face. Crossing his arms behind his head, he didn’t even notice when his older brother Max stopped in the doorway to his room.
“Things must be looking heavy, Kid. What’s the matter, did Mom put your bike on blocks again?”
Glancing up, Wyatt sighed, “Nah . . . I just have a lot on my mind.”
Max’s teasing grin disappeared. He glanced closer at Wyatt; then stepped inside the room and shut the door. “Want to talk about it?”
“Yeah . . . I guess you’d probably understand.” He swung his sneakered feet over the side of the bed and sat up, propping his chin in his hand. “It’s something that happened at school today.”
Max hitched up a chair and straddled it. “O.K., go on,” he encouraged.
“A bunch of us guys were out goofing around behind the school during lunch. We were talking about the party that’s being planned for the championship football game. Gabe—you know him; that’s the big guy who lives across the street—said it’s going to be the most awesome party ever. Then . . .” Wyatt hesitated. “Then he pulled a joint out of his pocket.”
For a moment there was silence in the room. “Hmmm,” said Max, thoughtfully. “Well, I’m glad you told me! Let’s talk about this a little more.”
“I’ve seen the kids smoking them at school lots of times, but I never had anyone offer me one before. I really didn’t know what to say! I didn’t want the guys to laugh at me. Besides, I’ve heard it really doesn’t hurt you . . .” Wyatt’s voice trailed off.
“Well, that’s not true!” Max stated emphatically. “More and more scientists are finding out that marijuana does have a harmful effect on the body such as a decline in memory and thinking ability.” He pulled his chair a bit closer to Wyatt. “I remember one time a health teacher of mine told us boys, ‘Anything that is not natural is not right.’ It’s a sure thing that the effects marijuana produces in your system are not natural.”
“Well, I knew it wasn’t right,” Wyatt confessed. He paused for a moment, then added, “But it takes a lot of courage to take a stand when the pressure is on, I know that. I just didn’t know how to say no. After all, there isn’t any place in the Bible that says we can’t smoke marijuana, is there?”
Max reached over and picked up Wyatt’s Testament from the nightstand. “Not exactly,” he said as he flipped through the pages. “But there’s a verse in here that makes it pretty clear about . . . yes, here it is. In 1 Corinthians 3:16 and 17, it says, ‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.’ I think smoking marijuana would come under the classification of ‘defiling,’ don’t you? Like I said, it has been proved damaging to our bodies.”
Wyatt looked up. “Well, that would go for smoking cigarettes then too, wouldn’t it? There’s even a warning printed on every package of cigarettes. It lets us know that cigarette-smoking is dangerous to your health.”
“Sure thing! Can you think of anything else that might be considered defiling?”
“How about drinking?” Wyatt replied. “That sure can ruin your insides!”
Max nodded. “You’re right. Anything that is unnatural or harmful to our bodies is displeasing to God. This may be the first time you’ve been approached to try something that could harm you physically, but for sure it won’t be the last! You might be tempted to say yes because of pressure from your friends, but don’t give in, Wyatt. It takes real courage to take a stand for what you know is right. And if you do take your stand, you will be a stronger Christian because of it.”
After thinking quietly for a moment, Wyatt jumped to his feet and gave Max a poke in the arm. “Thanks, Buddy! I think I’m O.K. now.” Noticing Max’s quizzical look, he added with a grin, “And just to set the record straight . . . No, I didn’t take the joint! I was saved by the bell! Now I think I know how to take care of this situation the next time it comes up.”