There is a lot to cover on this subject, so bear with me as I break this down as best I can. We will cover some history of the early church that we can learn from, kratom use in general, and of course…addiction to kratom and if it’s wrong or not. It should all make sense once each topic is studied and looked at in context. We will study God’s word to find the answer to this question that I know bothers some of you. I know because a couple people have reached out about it. You may want a straight yes or no answer, and unfortunately it isn’t that simple. The most simplified answer I can give you is this: it depends. There are many sins mentioned in the Bible that don’t depend on our circumstances, they are sin no matter how man tries to spin it. Take for example adultery or idol worship – these are sins, and my situation vs yours doesn’t make any difference in that. They will always be sin. But there are a lot of other things that the Bible isn’t entirely clear about, yet thankfully scripture still gives us guidance on how to deal with them, and even find out for ourselves if they are indeed sin in our lives, or not. So first, let’s look at an example from the Bible where believers were in disagreement over something being sin, because the answer had not been made clear prior to the Apostle Paul addressing it:
Controversy in the early church - Can we eat or drink it?
There was a controversy during Paul’s time around the topic of eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. Buying meat in that day and place, especially at an affordable price, meant that you were getting meat that had been sacrificed to a false god at the time the animal was killed. This understandably bothered the conscience of a lot of believers during that time. Many of these people were Gentiles that had converted from that very lifestyle of idol worship, so in a way it must have felt that by eating the meat, they were continuing in their sin that they had repented of. This decision not to buy that meat meant they basically became vegetarians. Meanwhile there were other Christians that took the position that it did not matter how the animal was killed, they wanted to eat meat and so would continue to purchase it from the markets. It became a hot topic, and Paul addresses it in 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, 10:23-31, and Romans 14:1-23. Paul took the position that those who were not bothered by their conscience to eat the meat, were more spiritually mature than those who would not eat. He points out in 1 Corinthians 8:1-6 that the spiritually mature possessed a knowledge that the gods that the meat had been sacrificed to were false, they “have no real existence”, so therefore the food had not been defiled at all by the actions of the pagans who sacrificed it. He described those who abstained from eating as weak (1 Corinthians 8:9, Romans 14:1). This was not being said in a derogatory way, he was just describing accurately that over time Christians become stronger and more mature, while new converts are not there yet (weak). But at the same time, he points out that the weaker Christians may be sinning, if their conscience is telling them not to eat, yet they still do. (Romans 14:14, 14:23).
Basically, those who were new converts and used to sacrifice to idols themselves, they were in a transitory stage in their life where they were leaving that old pagan life behind. If it felt wrong to them to eat the meat, then there was probably a reason for that, and they needed to completely separate themselves from anything to do with the practice. Over time they would become stronger and more mature to the point that it would no longer bother them, but for time being they needed to follow their conscience.
Meanwhile, Paul points out very strongly that we are not to judge one another over which position we take, here is just one example:
Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. – Romans 14:3
And that we are not to argue about such things:
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. - Romans 14:1
He says in 1 Corinthians 10:23:
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.
His point here was that even though we are free from the Law, and free to eat controversial foods, we still must ask ourselves if our behavior is good for our own spiritually growth, and if our actions edify the church as a whole.
Paul's case is summed up like this:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31
You will notice this is the verse we post at the front of the site, and there is a reason for that. We are asking the wrong question when we ask about whether something is ok to use or not. The questions we should be asking are, do my actions glorify God? Am I putting Christ first in my life? If you are putting kratom above Christ, then kratom becomes your god and it is de facto sin:
You shall have no other gods before me. – Exodus 20:3
When you put anything above God, it becomes your idol. Kratom can be and is a blessing on countless people. God is good and he created some amazing things that can heal and bless us in so many ways. But like anything good in life, you still must not let it become your idol. Make sure that Christ is always number one, everything else (food, water, shelter, kratom…) comes after. Some people make money/work their idol, while others it is their hobby. Anything that makes you happy and is healthy for you, you must be on your guard to make sure it comes after Christ.
As for the question, do my actions glorify God? After talking to countless people across the country on how kratom has blessed them and given people their lives back, I am absolutely convinced that its responsible use does in fact glorify Him. It allows those who are suffering from a myriad of problems to move on and live their lives to their fullest potential. Of course God can use a tree to carry out his will, and we should praise and thank him all the more for it!
But there are those who would use kratom in a way that does not glorify God. If you have not read my article on extracts, please do. To sum it up, people who are not satisfied with the blessings of kratom, and just want to turn it into another drug, are doing everything they can to make kratom products as unnaturally strong as possible to market to a certain type of consumer; one who has no interest in the healings and blessings from the kratom tree. Now, I believe there is nothing wrong with enjoying the way kratom makes you feel. Just like there is nothing wrong with enjoying a good coffee buzz. Non-medical use can also glorify God, as I write about in my article Coffee, Kratom and Christ. God designed kratom to heal broken minds, bring joy to the depressed, and reestablish peace for the anxious, but he also designed it to make working in life more bearable and enjoyable! Only a merciful God would do something like that, and we Christians know that he is indeed merciful. However, there are still those who would attempt to abuse kratom (usually in the form of extracts) in a way that does not glorify him. If you are unsure if you fall into this category or not, all I can say is you are going to have to pray about it.
Having said all that, there will be kratom consumers who ask the question, “is my kratom use sin?”, then after asking the necessary follow up questions of whether their use glorifies God/Are they putting Christ first, their answers may lead them to discover that yes, it is sin; or no, it is not. As we saw with the Apostle Paul with the meat controversy, the answer truly depends on you and your situation.
The main reason I have found that believers will struggle with this question, is because of addiction to kratom. Because of their personal situation, for whatever reason some people must take kratom every single day of their lives. Could be for pain relief, depression, anxiety, or for countless other reasons. Let’s be frank - taking it every day, multiple times a day, for long periods of time can lead to addiction on some level or another. That means when you stop taking it, you may be uncomfortable, may sweat more, will have trouble sleeping, etc (it should be noted that not everybody who takes kratom every day reports this, but many do). The thing is, this is something you will find with other effective medicines as well. If you had to take any other pharmaceutical that was prescribed by a doctor for those same symptoms, you will have to accept that same reality that your body will become accustomed to having it. You could take this reasoning a step further: many other medicines are not necessarily addictive, yet lots of people need them daily to survive – think blood pressure meds, anti-viral drugs, cancer medications… Because we live in a fallen world, everybody knows somebody that is on drugs of some kind and must take them every day to survive or live a normal life. It obviously is not ideal, but sin ruined this place, and we live here. That means a lot of people require daily medicine of some sort, and you may have to choose: will you be addicted to man-made drugs that have been proven in many cases to cause more harm than good? Or would you instead choose medicines that God created, and use them as responsibly as you can? To be clear, I would never encourage somebody to get addicted to kratom, but if their circumstances require it, I strongly believe they can still answer a resounding YES to the question “are your actions glorifying God”!
The difference is clear: We in the kratom world have seen it firsthand with ourselves and with others – those who have chosen kratom as their daily medicine, even if they get addicted to it, are far better off than if they had gone with what their doctor was pushing on them. They are happier, healthier, at peace, more motivated, better parents, better spouses, better workers… and yes, I dare say: even better Christians! What is amazing to me is that I have had fellow believers reach out to me about their kratom use and have told me (and I agree) that it has somehow brought them closer to God and brought their spiritual life to another level. Let me give you a real-life example: somebody with anxiety problems once told me that prior to kratom use, their anxiety seemed to be a roadblock to prayer and even reading their Bible. With the continued use of kratom, they could finally calm down and be still, read God’s word and talk to him through prayer. It is as if the issues we were dealing with before, seemed to be holding us back. The peace and healing that kratom brought seemed to finally allow us to let go and just give it all to Jesus, and completely surrender ourselves to him. Which brings me to my conclusion:
Surrender yourself to Christ. Make him number one in your life, over everything else. Jesus comes first – your family, job, home, spouse, children, medicine, recreation…they are all important, but put Christ on the top of that list!
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
-Proverbs 3:6 ESV
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
-Mark 12:30 ESV
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