Should Christians take pain medication?
As Christians, we read in the Bible that we do not belong to ourselves any more, but to God. "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body" (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). The Bible also tells us that Christians must live sensibly and alert to represent the gospel (1 Peter 3:15). In that light of these verses, we must remain aware of how we treat our bodies, being especially careful of anything that can harm our bodies, alter our awareness, or cause us to lose control.
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Medicine is not anti-biblical. Luke, the writer of one of the Gospels and of the book of Acts, was a physician. Additionally, Paul instructed Timothy to "use a little wine" for his illness (1 Timothy 5:23). In fact, Proverbs 31:6 tells us that alcohol was used to deaden pain and other symptoms.
It is the abuse of alcohol and medicine we should avoid (Proverbs 23:20; Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:19–21; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:6–8). This includes pain killers. Some pain killers are more addictive than others; some cause a loss of control or perception and awareness. Like other medications, pain medicines should be used with caution and wisdom, and under the supervision of a medical professional. James 1:5 tells us to ask God for wisdom and He will grant it.
We are not to mistreat our bodies by the use of substances that alter our minds and bodies in an ungodly way. Similarly, we are not to mistreat our bodies by withholding substances that will treat maladies. God provides for us through the advancement of medical science, prescriptions, and treatments.
At its worst, the mistreatment of such blessings includes overindulgence, misapplication, addiction, causing harm to yourself or others, and breaking the law. At its best, the use of medicine can fix some of the results of the Fall, which introduced pain, illness, and death into humankind. It is up to us to prayerfully find a God-honoring application of medicine when needed, including pain medication.
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