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Vol.  10  No. 9 September 2008  Page 11
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Eleven Inches Equals One Foot

Donald R. Fox

From 1987 until 1992, I was employed as a counselor for the State of Mississippi, Region Three Chemical Dependence Program. An interesting period of my life! Part of my duties was to conduct group-counseling sessions. I remember one such session very well. I was teaching/leading the group in the discussion of Step Four of the 12 Step Program, “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

Some of the clients did not understand what moral meant. After giving a definition of the word moral, the group started to ask questions concerning a principle that pertains to right and wrong. Pursuing this line of discussion, I made the point that there are fixed standards of right and wrong. A few of the men challenged me on this affirmation.

With chalk and blackboard, I illustrated a 12” inch ruler. I stated, “Have we not been taught, and is it not true that one foot has twelve inches in it, according to Tables of Weights and Measures?” All answered, “Yes.” I continued, “What if you wanted to build a house. You selected a building contractor and a blueprint with all measurements and specifications on it. Both you and your contractor sign a contract to build per the specifications of the blueprint. You were scheduled to take a trip away from home for six months. Your contractor assured you that your house would be completed when you came home per your building contract.”

Continuing with the illustration, I stated, “You come home and your house is built; however, it looks smaller than you expected. You start to measure the rooms, and sure enough, it does not meet the specifications. You confront the contractor and ask him, concerning the breach of contract and blueprint.” Your contractor states, “All my life I decided that one foot has eleven inches in it, and that’s the way it will be.” “What do you do?” I asked. One of the men responded, “Well, if he thought eleven inches equals one foot, he has that right.” Oh boy, aren’t some people strange?

You know friends, there are many folks like that one man in this world. They see no standards, no principles, no right or wrong, no nothing. Now isn’t that sad, and it’s more widespread than you think! Stinking thinking prevails in all walks of life, from the very powerful to the most common of people.

I will stand by fixed standards, principles that will bring about God-given peace, stability and rationality. We must all remember that God hates false standards of right and wrong. “A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight” (Proverbs 11:1). “A just weight and balance are the Lord’s: all the weights of the bag are his work” (Proverbs 16:11).

Wicked sinners and the unjust have always sought after disorder and calamity. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 6:20). “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

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