More than ever before, people are held captives by chains of addiction. In Rehabilitation Centers, those suffering under the yoke of drug addiction, porn addiction, sex addiction etc are jostling and defying enumeration. In homes are strewn wrecks of character, that have been stranded upon the rocks of sensual indulgence, and the consequence can be seen in continuous bondage. Fathers who sacrifice the family’s feeding program to fund their drinking spree, is not a surprising news anymore. College students who have been reduced to dunghill and nothingness, due to drug abuse, is not something to be surprised about. What about sexual indulgence? Our generation is probably the most sex obsessed generation. To what can we attribute this?
Why Rehabilitation Centers wont work.
Rehabilitation centers have been built everywhere, but it just doesn’t seem to work. A lot of resources have been hitherto employed, but the number of inebriates remains constant or even more than doubles. Some of the people are also dying slowly. They look very decent and dependable, but with no longevity since they are already shipwrecked from the basic Units of their lives. So why is there less success in rehab centers?
“Moral principle is exceedingly weak when it conflicts with established habit.”—Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1 p.230
Power of Established Habits
The power of established habits is not a power to joke with, either for right or wrong. The will power differs from individual to individual. The inherited and cultivated tendencies make the results vacillating between individuals and in most cases subverts efforts to regain what was lost in the altar of abuse. A few people can endure the discipline of purging moral wreck and many attempt renovation of character which sooner or later leaks. Many can give up for a while, but later plunge in the deep end of their well stood arounded addictions. Their story shows a void that was filled with nothing.
The reformation of leaking characters requires more discipline than most people have or are willing to endure. It is a painful process that needs more than a simple registration for the same. This is why the attrition rate is so high, as many often find their way out illegally or prematurely.
Outside of this, there is alarming scepticism now more than ever before. In most cases, dependence on a higher power outside of self, is tested, tried and proved buckler against moral pollution. But we are well schooled and too wise and we don’t need God, yet more dissipated than our predecessors. However much scepticism may abound, if we stop our addiction, and put no efforts to make ourselves useful, the propensity to fall deeper into our addictions is beyond imagination.
“None but Christ can fashion anew the character that has been ruined by sin. He came to expel the demons that had controlled the will. He came to lift us up from the dust, to reshape the marred character after the pattern of His divine character, and to make it beautiful with His own glory.”—The Desire of Ages. p. 37
We often find what to assign the blame. Is it fair? I find this more of a scapegoat mentality. So who or what are often blamed?
Can we blame the environment? I know where we live or grow up, can have some bearing in our character. But is the environment responsible for a terrible moral lapse? You can give your ideas, but my answer is no. Environment is like a catalyst and not the main element involved in this chemical reaction. If this was true, Christ could have failed in the mission of saving man from their sin, for He is known as Jesus of Nazareth—a town proverbial for wickedness. “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” is a question all Bible students remember. If the Environment had power over Character, Daniel and his three friends should have failed to maintain their fidelity to God, for Babylon has always been anti-God and a thralldom of wickedness. Environment can only influence us, but it doesn’t form a basic building block of character. It can make it difficult to live in harmony with the law, but it doesn’t decide for us.
Is it fair to blame the teachers for the moral degradation? Don’t they spend more time with our children than us? My question to you is simple; how easy is it to fight ignorance and hooliganism at the same time? We can make the teachers’ work easier by specifying what we want them to do. Teachers have more work to do, and expecting them to shape character is asking for too much. So I will applaud the teachers who have been diligent to develop dependable characters, but I will in no wise blame those who have not done the same.
It is often said, “Show me four fools around you and I will show you the fifth one”. But sometimes a sage can hang around with simple men, in an attempt to uplift them, not to partake of their foolishness. Jesus is referred to as a friend for sinners, though Himself is sinless. So long as you interact with them for the purpose of uplifting them and you are morally strong enough to withstand their influence, wayward friends cannot do you any harm. I’m not saying that you should be indifferent about your choice of friends, I’m rather saying that you can always edge past those friends.
You may be asking yourself, “If you’ve excused friends, teachers and the environment, what else remains?” Well, this is the most important thing I want to put across today. What is the building block of the society? If the lake is contaminated with arsenic poison, it could be wise to begin the reclaiming process at the source of its inlets. We must also look at the basic unit of the society that is wading at the muck and mire of moral pollution. Our society, at its basic unit , is made up of homes and families. It is not that our society is bad, but our homes have been hacked by the enemy. Our homes have their bulwarks lying on the ground. It is at the home where people are prepared to face the world. If there is a problem. If it is true that “out of the heart flow the issues of life” then the community, the church and the nation cannot ignore the household.
“The well-being of society, the success of the church, the prosperity of the nation, depend upon home influences.”—Ministry of Healing p.349
If our music has been promoting drugs and nudity, it is because our homes have tolerated them and every member can access them. If teenage pregnancies are skyrocketing, it is because little effort has been put to teach the young on sexuality by our various households. Instead, they get their lessons from Hollywood and television, and its baleful effects can readily be seen. When crime rates have gone beyond the acceptable limit, it is because our households have become a training school for criminals and a swimming pool of banditry. We must make our household a place where characters are made and moral backbone strengthened.
“It is by the youth and children of today that the future of society is to be determined, and what these youth and children shall be depends upon the home. To the lack of right home training may be traced the larger share of the disease and misery and crime that curse humanity. If the home life were pure and true, if the children who went forth from its care were prepared to meet life’s responsibilities and dangers, what a change would be seen in the world!”
—Ministry of Healing p.351
We may not choose whom our children will interact with outside of our watchful care, we may not choose the paths where their inexperienced feet will step on, we may not choose the friends they will keep, but we can prepare them insomuch to withstand any environment, friendship or influence.