Don Cobb
The Miracle: Only one way out...
By Don Cobb
May 16, 2009

It's clear that moving to the left politically hasn't created the utopia that we'd all love to see here in the USA. Throwing billions of our tax dollars each year at social problems has not solved the homeless problem because the root of homelessness has not been addressed. Billions of dollars in social services hasn't solved the alcohol or drug addiction problem either, nor has it stopped unplanned pregnancies from occurring, which would be optimal. Crime has not stopped either, despite billions of dollars thrown at it every year. The reason none of these social problems have been solved is simple: We're treating the symptoms, not the root causes. We've tried to address these issues after the fact, rather than confronting the issues which set these behaviors in motion.

We wait until crimes have been committed, and then send our troops (police force) to catch the criminals rather than evaluating what causes people to choose to act out criminally. We wait until a person is already addicted to drugs or alcohol rather than evaluating why people become addicted to substances, porn, gambling, etc. We wait until a person is already homeless before we try to help them back into the mainstream of living. We wait until our marriages are crashing and burning before we decide it's time to do something about them (usually 'leave'). We are reacting to life, rather than being proactive in our lives. This is true, for a great many Americans, personally as well as socially.

The truth is that we know why people adopt socially deviant lifestyles such as drug addiction, alcoholism, homelessness, criminal lifestyles or any number of sexually deviant behaviors which can result in being arrested and incarcerated. Despite the fact that none of these kinds of roles affect a person positively, people act out in ways such as these for explicit and identifiable reasons. Human behavior is not rocket science. We're not that complicated, really, with two exceptions:

  1. When mental illness/insanity is involved (very easy to identify)

  2. When there are hidden agendas

None of us is forced to surrender to being trapped in circumstances like unhealthy or abusive relationships, criminal activity, addiction, homelessness or even unemployment. With honest personal evaluation, one can always retrace their life's steps in order to discover which decisions they've made which led them into circumstances in which they now feel trapped. None of us is trapped in our life circumstances. There is always a way out. Better yet, there is an identifiable way to avoid becoming mired in life situations which we do not enjoy.

The literary best-seller of all time states " shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." It's a fact, not an opinion. An old sage once said "Honesty is the best policy. If I lose my honor, I lose myself." Once acknowledged as wisdom, America no longer collectively embraces such wise counsel. Since Moral Relativism allows good people to do bad things using rationalization to try to justify selfishness, Americans have sought to focus their lives on pleasing themselves and not worrying about how it affects those around us. "That's your problem" is a common response when a friend or family member confronts someone with whom they feel violated. Personal responsibility has become a rare commodity in the USA today.

In fact, for the fastest growing religion during the past 40 years (Liberalism), real truth has been rejected, while "my truth" (AKA my opinion) and "your truth" (AKA your opinion) has become what is important to those who subscribe. Granted, the freedom which comes from ignoring real truth is limitless. When real truth is ignored, no longer is selfishness a bad thing, but becomes a matter of opinion ("my truth"), nor is addiction or even criminal activity or abuse or neglect or sexual depravity "bad." The philosophy of "If it feels good, do it" turns all of those negative, self-destructive and hurtful activities into matters of opinion, as in "My child/spouse/girlfriend deserves to be beaten because....fill-in-the-blank." Molestation isn't bad when right and wrong are simply matters of opinion (my truth/your truth). Without the benefit of real truth, everything becomes simply a matter of opinion. The truth is that all things are not just matters of opinion. Drug addiction/alcoholism never blesses a family or an individual. Criminal activity is never good. Homelessness, addiction, abuse/neglect and socially/sexually deviant behavior is always the result of unhealthy relationships with those whom close relationships were critically important. Fathers abandoning their families because "she's a fill-in-the-blank" have decimated the emotional lives of countless American children, who then tend to go on to engage in unhealthy relationships themselves, raising their own children who will continue the cycle. The answer is not abandoning our families. The answer is becoming willing to face the truth about ourselves and our circumstances, and accepting responsibility for ourselves and our actions. We have to stop playing the role of 'victim.'

When real truth became a matter of opinion 40 years ago in many Baby Boomers' minds, evil and insanity promptly moved in to occupy the space where truth used to be. Any person of any healthy religion on the planet (not cults or Satanists) or 12 Stepper worth his/her mud will testify that only through rigorous honesty and learning to tell the truth with love were they able to begin to develop spiritually and then begin to overcome the insanity that comes with the moral and ethically relative thinking that many Americans began adopting a few decades ago. The truth will set you free. It's a fact.

In order for the USA to overcome what's become a huge burden socially, including financial and moral bankruptcy for our nation and it's leaders, the individual (that would be you) must surrender to the fact that there is a right and wrong, that the truth is not just a matter of opinion, that good ethics are vital, that both socially and personally we have to take a stand morally and that without God none of us are going to walk our lives out with integrity.

Choosing to tell the truth no matter what forces us all to do two things, without which we will fail to become people who tell the truth no matter what. Firstly, we must overcome our fears regarding what might happen if we tell people the truth about how we feel and what we think. Secondly, most — if not all — of us cannot overcome our lifelong fears of this nature without prayerfully and intentionally asking for God's help in adopting this kind of lifestyle. Left to our own devices, it's easier to lie than to tell the truth, much of the time. But by privately and humbly asking our Creator to help us to tell the truth with love (very important to do this with love — it's said that the truth without love is brutality), we find the words to communicate honestly with one another. Truly, when we practice this, both parties are set free.

Honesty is but one aspect of principled living, but it's a crucial and vital element without which few other spiritual principles will be practiced. That is, principled living sets us all free and it begins with honesty. Humility, self-control, integrity, compassion — all of the other spiritual principles are at our fingertips when we humble ourselves enough to recognize that we cannot change our nation unless and until we change ourselves, and we cannot change ourselves...but God will change us if we ask Him to.

The bottom line? There is only one way out of addiction, criminal activity, ethical and moral relativism, abusive relationships, etc., and only one way to truly recover when we've been victims of such behavior. We must invite our Creator to help us become the people that our dogs seem to think we are. If we aren't willing to even seek God, then we aren't willing to change. That has been proven time and time again in relationships and in treatment centers across the nation. If nothing changes, nothing about our lives or our nation will change, either.

Good news and bad news: It's that simple, and we're just beginning this process of personal and social transformation.

("The Miracle" is an ongoing series of articles by Don Cobb regarding the process through which an individual and/or a group of individuals or nation get right-side up. Addiction, sexual, life, or relationship issues regardless how deep or serious are all resolved through this miraculous transformation.)

© Don Cobb


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Don Cobb

Don Cobb, RAS is an addiction recovery professional and serves as Executive Director for North Bay Recovery Services in Sonoma County, CA. Don recently published a book entitled 12 Steps: NOT For Dummies... (more)


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