Stupid behavior of others does affect other people

I will qualify this by saying that in terms of substance abuse that I have frankly just never got it. Don’t understand why anyone would, so yea I’m lacking in empathy.
Having said that, for someone to use that as an excuse is for that person to continue to live in their own little world of denial, just another excuse which some many abusers are so good at. So grow up and get a grip.
The usual abusers excuse is “what I do doesn’t hurt anyone else”. Wow! If you believe that I have a bridge you might like to buy.
There has been a reality series on television that has really driven this home for me. One particular episode is a father with three sons where the oldest son is abusing OxyContin and he is enabling that son with money and excuses and the father has his own gambling addiction. He has two younger sons and they are victims of all this. They are living in a hotel and will probably be on the street shortly and they often don’t get anywhere near enough to eat. They are early adolescence. Lack of food at this stage of development will affect them through their whole life, because of someone else’s abuse and neglect.
The father had a good job but was finally fired for embezzling. He probably should be in jail for that which would impact his sons.
To say that the bad habits of the two older ones doesn’t affect others is to live in your own little world of denial and we’re not even talking about how it affects extended family members.
The answer? Legalizing marijuana? So now we condone bad behavior and create even more problems? We see that legalized gambling has created a whole set of social problems. People going into debt, health issues, living on the street because of wasting money on government gambling. Both government regulated gambling and drugs are more expensive than what’s on the street. Those who don’t have money are just wasting more?
The family who usually gets sucked into giving them money and just enabling the problem. Who suffer financial loss, anxiety and often abuse for enabling?
I submit that putting any kind of abuser in jail helps everyone. Get treatments? Sure but make it legal? That’s just dumb. The public is safer by putting abusers away. Family doesn’t have to suffer by losing money, not being taken care of, going through all the drama and violence that abusers put families through. They’re in jail they’re relatively safe. They’re being treated, fed, sheltered and others can get on with their lives without having to spend the time and energy on substance abusers.
Legalizing drugs, gambling is not an answers it exacerbates the problem for everyone. Government has a stake in it and won’t give it up because it’s getting revenue from this and in the meantime everyone else suffers.
Anyone who believes in “victimless” crimes is ridiculously naive. The amount of damage caused by “victimless” crimes rips through our society.
Do we extend compassion to people who suffer like this? Sure but once they are in a place where they have to confront their issue, stop living in their denial. As Christians we should do what we can to get those on the street to deal with those problems. But as a pastor I have people who need attention for real issues and not just problems they created themselves or government enabled them to do. Do I focus on the person who has wrecked their life through their ignorance and selfishness? Or the person who is trying and is in need of strengthening? Yet government, society keeps enabling people and then dumping the problems that enabling causes on someone else, often the church. The church barely has enough resources to deal with what it’s supposed to do in Jesus. As a pastor I’m not really in a position to undo the problems government has created.
We pray we encourage, but at some point we need to help those who are dealing with reality and have to cut the cord with those who want to drag me down, their family down and anyone else who gets dragged in. Just so they can have another drink, another joint, place another bet?

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