In Proverbs 31:6-7, the Bible declares “Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more”. This is not a command to cause harm or sell any illegal substance to anyone.
Related: Is prostitution a sin?
Even though most countries have legalized the sale of marijuana, it doesn’t mean you should join in this sin, as you know that the product is detrimental to its uses. Society is slowly breaking down every fabric that makes our community safe and healthy.
Cigarettes are legal in most countries and can be found at any local shop; even in the most remote region of a country.
Is selling cigarettes a sin?
Whether to sell cigarettes or not should be based on your conscious as a Christian. If you find it difficult to sell them, then it is clear you are convicted not to sell. Therefore, is selling cigarettes a sin? The answer is no. I believe in your shop you also sell tea leaves, medicine, and other products which when abused may lead to harmful effects to its consumers.
Based on your conscious as a Christian, if you have been preaching against smoking cigarettes and other substances it would be hypocritical to still sell these substances.
For example, in Africa, raw tobacco has several applications. It can be used as medicine for poultry farming or can be abused as a drug.
In this scenario, it makes a lot of sense why selling raw tobacco is okay and shouldn’t hurt your conscious.
Is it okay to sell cigarettes as a Christian?
There is a difference between smoking cigarettes and selling the same. One makes the product available while the other consumes it. Therefore, is it okay to sell cigarettes? yes, it is.
Think of it this way, if you sell water does it mean you are responsible for all the alcohol sold in your neighborhood? Water is the basic ingredient for the manufacture of alcohol; both purified and illicit alcoholic drinks.
In the marketplace, we deal with all sorts of people and as a business person, you should avail every legal product that consumers are interested in.
As a Christian, you should refrain from selling alcohol or any other form of drug that causes harm. We are called to be a light of the world (Matthew 5:14) and to draw men from the pit (Jude 23, Proverbs 24:11).
However, if we restrain ourselves to an extreme extent, we will not have a business. Even the very sugar you sell is capable of killing someone, through health issues related to the abuse of food. Avoid being over-righteous or too spiritual to the extent that you lose touch with reality.
In the same way, if you have invested in oil Industries does it make you guilty for every illegal or harmful product produced at any level of production by those individuals? No!
Be shrewd in business
Jesus taught that the children of darkness are wiser than those of light. In Luke 16:8-9 he declares “The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings”. Be wise! Be shrewd and assertive in business.
By the end of the day, it is up to you. Don’t overthink everything, because if you do so you will realize that every product around you is harmful in some way. Therefore, selling cigarettes as a Christian is not a sin just as selling food, medicine, and cosmetics is okay.