Uncle Sam’s 12 Step Program

Uncle Sam has finally hit the wall. After years of intoxicated binges on borrowing and inflating, the US government has hit the new debt ceiling. There are many theories and predictions as to the consequences of not raising the amount we can borrow. Raising the debt ceiling is the equivalent of Uncle Sam drinking more to get sober or taking out another credit card to get out of debt.
This is why this conversation is so aggravating for regular normal citizens. It is so disconnected from reality. If you have a relative or friend (and most of us do) who has an addiction problem, we know what denial looks like. The addict has been drinking and drinking and drinking…. They make a decision to come clean and change. As they begin experiencing the pain of withdrawal, they tells us that they need some more alcohol in order to get sober. Just one sip to help with the pain of quitting. The drink “helps” them with the withdrawal pains. Sure…. Right!!?
The spend-a-holic only needs one more upgrade. One more purchase. Just one more credit card. If the spend-a-holic can get one more loan, they will magically change their ways. Hmmmm… The best predictor of future behavior is previous behavior. What would God say to Uncle Sam? God loves Uncle Sam and wants him healthy and sober. God wants our uncle to be living in reality, not denial.


Step 1: Admit You Have A Problem

The word “confess” in the Bible means “to agree with.” When you confess you have a problem, you are agreeing to reality. I am out of alignment with God and the truth. I know that only “the truth can set me free.”

Step 2: Repent of the Old Behavior

To repent means to turn 180 degrees and go God’s way. How can we repent of an old behavior? We must turn 180 degrees. We must admit that the behavior that got us here will not get us “there.” The “there” we long for is a place of freedom, peace, hope, and truth. How can Uncle Sam repent? It’s gonna be a long road. Just like the addict going off Cocaine, there will be painful withdrawal symptoms that will affect him as well as his friends and family.


We must stop borrowing from other nations. God shows us that liberty and borrowing are mutually exclusive. He teaches nations to “lend,” but not borrow.

Deut 15:6 For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.

We must stop inflation our currency which has devalued it by 90-97% over past one hundred years. Sound Money for a nation is the honest scale for its citizens

Lev 19:36 Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah and an honest hin. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt.

Step 3: Change Your Stinkin’ Thinkin’

I have walked with many friends through recovery. The problem with an addiction to money, sex, drugs, or credit is the way it twists your thinking. You are not thinking truthfully. Positive thinking WILL NOT work. You can be positive about a lie. You can be a happy drunk. You can be an optimistic spender hoping to “win the lottery.” Positive thinking is often a camouflage for denial. The Bible prescribes Truthful thinking. The truth will lead to hope. It will lead to courage. It will lead to strength, but you may need to go through pain to get to the truth.


Let us pray for Uncle Sam. Let’s pray for an intervention of loving citizens and representatives from both parties who can pull him aside and tell him lovingly, “You are a drunk. You are destroying yourself and your family. We love you enough to say, ‘Stop!’ We need you to come to your senses and stop doing the same thing over and over.” We must be strong enough to see through his fear mongering: “If I don’t keep spending it will get worse!!” He’s probably right, it will get worse… Before it gets better. The path to recovering almost always makes things more uncomfortable. Throwing back another drink will not help you get sober. Spending more will not help you spend less. Taking out another credit card will not help you get out of debt.

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