Misery Loves Company
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8
While trapped in their addiction, those enslaved to drugs don’t want anything to do with those who’ve found recovery. Sobriety is a blazing, painful light that burns the eyes of the addicted, and so, the addicted avoid it. For some though, shunning those in recovery isn’t enough. Not only do they want to remain in their addiction, they actually seek to derail those who want to live a sober life Come on. Just have one drink with me. Aren’t we friends? Misery loves company and if they’re going to wallow in their chemicals, it somehow feels better if they’re not alone.
In today’s passage, Paul cursed those who would lead others astray. Apparently, though the Galatian church had accepted the gospel of Christ, some of them were now insisting that those who came to faith must perform certain additional custom rituals to be saved. Paul objected that they were now following a different gospel and that, if they led others away from Christ, they would be accursed.
We may not consciously try to lead others away from Christ and we may not cause others to relapse into drug addiction, but most of us have done something similar. When we have angry resentful thoughts about a coworker, it makes us feel better if we vent to another coworker. If we can get that person to engage in those resentful thoughts as well, suddenly we can commiserate. When we indulge in dark thoughts and words, it makes us feel better if we can convince others to do so too.
Whether it’s drugs, resentment, lust, greed, racism, or simply being judgmental, whatever it is we struggle with, it’s somehow better if those around us are doing it as well. So, we share our evil, trying to tempt and lure others into the same behavior. In our misery, we should be doing whatever it takes to climb out of our self-destruction, but it’s a lot easier to simply drag others down. In doing so, we drive others away from Christ, further compounding our toxic behavior.
As followers of Christ, we should be doing the exact opposite. Daily, we should be abandoning the old life to follow the new one. This new life is the thing we should be sharing with those around us. As Christians, we shouldn’t drag others down, but rather, we must daily follow this path of life, seeking to bring as many with us as possible.