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Turning On My Friends

Turning On My Friends

But he said to them, “The LORD be with you, if ever I let you and your little ones go! Look, you have some evil purpose in mind.” Exodus 10:10

When my addiction and opioid diversion was discovered back in 2014, I attempted to enlist a couple friends to get me out of trouble. Tell them the pills I took were for you. In my diseased thinking, I tried to drag my friends into my criminal behavior, exposing themselves to potential legal repercussions. Thankfully, they declined, telling me I must face the consequences and get help. Initially, I was angry with their refusal. What kind of friends are you? When I lose my job, it will be your fault. You’re the problem, not me. Those thoughts were absurd, but they were real to my diseased thinking. I came around quickly, recognizing the truth, but for a few moments, I made my friends out to be evil, because they represented a threat to my way of life.

I’ve been on the other side of this as well. When an addicted patient demands that I give him the controlled substance that he wants, and I refuse, he threatens relapse. If you won’t give me a prescribed stimulant, then I’m just going to have to go buy meth on the street. I’ll relapse and it will be your fault. Again, this is absurd. His relapse is in no way my responsibility, but in his drug-addled brain, I’m in the wrong and all his life problems are my fault.

Pharaoh did the same in today’s passage. In the story, Moses threatened an eighth plague, one of locusts, if Pharaoh didn’t let the Hebrews go worship in the wilderness. Dependent on the Israelites for slave labor, Pharaoh couldn’t stand the thought of losing them, so he accused Moses of wickedness. You have some evil purpose in mind. Moses wanted to free his people from slavery – a righteous intention. From Pharaoh’s perspective though, this was pure evil.

Most of us have been on both sides of this. When someone calls out our self-destructive behavior, we lash out. You’re the problem. Not me. If, however, we desire the lives for which we were made, we must daily embrace the humility required for continual transformation. None of us are perfect. We all must keep growing. We all need correction from time to time, no matter how painful.

When we’re on the other side of this, calling out the self-destructive behavior of others, we will be accused of evil. That’s not our responsibility. We can’t change the other. We’re only responsible for our own behavior. Daily, our job is to go to God, pointing our lives at him instead of ourselves, living right, even if others accuse us of wrong. That’s all we can do, and that is enough.

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