One of My Ongoing Struggles

One of My Ongoing Struggles

Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered . . . “Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” Matthew 15:12-14

One of my (many) ongoing flaws is that I sometimes think I have recovery completely figured out, which means that anyone who disagrees with me is tragically and painfully wrong. It’s obviously something I feel passionate about and it’s something I’ve spent a great deal of time and effort on, so naturally, I get frustrated when I see someone leading other addicts astray. When I was new to recovery, I encountered those who led me down the wrong path and when I see others doing the same, it makes me want to confront those doing the misleading. You are doing it wrong. You must do it my way!

The disciples of Christ had a somewhat similar experience in today’s passage. In the story, Jesus had just dismissed the idea that eating unclean foods made a person unclean. This offended the Pharisees who complained to the disciples, who in turn, went to Jesus. The disciples wanted to see Jesus put the Pharisees in their place. They were offended for Jesus and they couldn’t wait to see him humiliate the offenders.

Jesus didn’t retaliate though. He told the disciples to let it go. They’re blind. They’ll find their own miserable consequences soon enough, as will all who follow them (my paraphrase). The pharisees chose blindness and Jesus knew that short of divinely forcing them, nothing would open their eyes. They’re not your responsibility. Let it go.

I need to learn this lesson. I’ve got plenty to do right in front of me. God has given me more than enough opportunity to share the recovery and faith he’s given me. I don’t need to waste time policing those who are never going to agree with me. Like the disciples, it’s my hideous pride that wants to pick fights. They’re not your responsibility. Let it go. 

This is a good lesson for all of us. Are we doing the work God has given us? Are we loving our neighbors? Or, are we causing division and strife by picking fights with those who don’t agree with us? We can carry the truth and love of God without allowing our pride to generate pointless conflict.


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