Real Friends Don’t Eat Each Other
You who hate the good and love the evil . . . who eat the flesh of my people . . . and chop them up like meat in a pot, like flesh in a cauldron. Micah 3:2-3
In his destructive behavior, the addict inflicts tremendous misery, not only on himself, but on those around him. The addict has those whom he truly believes he loves, but his behavior exposes the reality that he loves the drug above all. This is addiction: To continue in a behavior despite knowing the profound collateral damage that behavior causes. The addict’s destruction literally consumes the lives of both himself and those around him.
In today’s passage, Micah used the grotesque metaphor of cannibalism to decry this kind of behavior. In it, Micah condemned the leaders of his people, who lived, not for God, but for themselves. In their destructive appetites, they accumulated wealth and pleasure at the expense of their neighbors, consuming the lives of those around them for their own purposes. They were not literal cannibals, yet Micah used the metaphor to illustrate the evil of living for one’s self at the expense of others.
If we pat ourselves on the back here because we don’t struggle with cannibalism or drug addiction, we are missing Micah’s point. When we pursue any destructive behavior at the cost of those around us, we are as guilty as those in today’s passage. When we injure family with our caustic words, when we view pornography despite the harm it causes our loved ones, and when we live only for work or money, we eat up the lives of those we are supposed to love most.
This has been a hard concept for me. My greatest life problem has not been specifically drug addiction, but rather simply doing whatever I want. I just naturally follow my appetite and I don’t naturally consider the cost to others. In recovery now, though I fail miserably at times, I have had to learn to consider the consequences to those around me.
If we truly want to know love and recovery then we must learn to live, not for ourselves, but for those whom we claim to love. Real friends and family don’t consume each other in their destructive behavior.