Drag You Down with Me

Drag You Down with Me

. . . And she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6

Years ago, while struggling with chemicals, I went on a weekend getaway with the guys. My understanding of weekend getaways back then was that, since our wives weren’t around, it was a time for drinking. So, I brought enough alcohol for everyone . . . but everyone didn’t drink. In fact, I was the only one who did. Now I know a lot of people who can have a drink without having a problem. Those people could also probably go through a similar weekend and simply not drink. Not me though. I was on a weekend getaway, and I was going to drink. It was a gloomy weekend though, ruined by those killjoys who wouldn’t drink. At least that’s how I saw it at the time. The truth though, was that I had the problem. Them not having a problem blazed a glaring spotlight on my problem, which I didn’t enjoy. If they’d have only gotten drunk, I’d have felt so much better about myself. My struggle made me want those around me to struggle as I did.

I’ve got to think there was some of that Misery Loves Company going on in the Garden of Eden in today’s passage. In the story, the serpent tempted Eve with her own appetite. She ate of the forbidden fruit and then, having disobeyed God, turned to her husband and enticed him to eat. The narrative doesn’t reveal her thoughts, but I’d bet that she instinctively understood how awful it would be to stand before God alone, having defied him. She couldn’t go back to innocence, but neither did she have to be alone in her failure. If Adam ate, then at least she wouldn’t be alone in her sin. Eve’s failure caused her to want Adam to fail too.

Most of us can identify with this. We don’t like others to see our struggle. So, if we can, we hide the struggle. When the struggle breaks out for others to witness, we’d much prefer to not be the only one struggling. No one likes to be the only one with a problem. So, often, we surround ourselves with others who struggle as we do. Failure breeds failure. Having surrounded ourselves with those who heartily agree with our self-destruction, because they’re self-destructing, we urge each other to self-destruct even more. Surrounded by failure, we laugh in vain as we encourage each other further and further down the spiral. I may be a disaster, but at least I’m not alone. This fixes nothing. Being surrounded by failure doesn’t solve our problems, it just allows us to hide from them for a while.

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