Admitting addiction and seeking treatment was seen as a positive step in America. This contrasted with the more negative Australian societal view that looked down on people suffering drug dependency. This was the perception that Cousins reported to the researchers. Cousins' opinion comes from his troubled 2007 trip to the Los Angeles drug and alcohol treatment centre.
Cousins is one of the superstars of the AFL. His success at West Coast, his Brownlow Medal and premiership medallion prove that he has been one of the greats of the modern game. Possibly because of this status, his off-field woes have been equally as scrutinized. Recreational drug use, traffic infringements and recent troubles with sleeping tablets have seen Cousins in and out of the media spotlight. In 2007 he received a one-year ban from the AFL. After serving his one-year ban Cousins bounced back to play with the Richmond Tigers. This second chance has boosted Richmond's on field and off field performances. For example, on field, in the past month, Cousins has averaged a career high 25 disposals per game. Off field, the Tigers membership spiked when Cousins was signed.
This Monash research will be published soon. Regardless of the validity and reliability of Cousins comments, or this qualitative research on the cultural contrast of drug dependence, it does raise the question of how do we treat those in need? What is the balance between demanding justice for wrongs and showing mercy for those in need? And does treatment vary if we live in the U.S. or Australia?
Well-Being Theologian points to the mission of Jesus to give His life as a ransom for us. Wrongs demand justice. The Bible uses the term, "sin earns a wage." But what God demands He also provides. Our sin was put on Jesus and Jesus' just status was given to us as a gift. When Jesus dies on that cross we see the amazing way justice and mercy are met. That is why we can say today, "The LORD has heard my cry for
mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer." (Psalm 6) God's treatment does not depend on who we are, what we have done or where we live, but solely on our relationship with Jesus. In Jesus you will find mercy.