I Only Drink Because of You

I Only Drink Because of You

And Aaron said, “Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil. For they said to me, ‘Make us gods who shall go before us.’” Exodus 32:22-23

In my drug use, I never openly blamed my wife for my bad behavior. I knew it wasn’t her fault and I understood that I alone was responsible for my own actions. Still, those who’re addicted use any excuse to use, so whenever there was conflict between us, I’d turn to my pills for comfort. Though I wouldn’t have overtly said my addiction was her fault, I still used her as an excuse to use. This of course, was absurd. My wife didn’t make me use. No one could make me use. Rather, blaming her was the twisted, pathologic thinking to which I was prone in my addiction.

I’m know I’m not alone here. I’ve met many men, struggling with pornography, who’ve told me they that use conflict with their wives to justify their behavior. I’ve met many who drink too much and then blame their spouses for their overindulgence. When stressed, we turn to that which provides immediate gratification, and then we often blame the stressor for any painful consequences. I only drink because of you. This is your fault.

Aaron, Moses’ brother, did the same thing in today’s passage. In the story, Moses returned from Mount Sinai only to find his people worshipping an idol. Moses interrogated Aaron, who was in charge in Moses’ absence. What have you done? Did Aaron take responsibility? It was Aaron, after all, who’d forged the golden calf. Instead of confessing his failure though, Aaron blamed the people. They made me do it. In doing so, Aaron compounded his failure. He’d not only sinned against God, but now, when confronted, he resisted repentance by blaming others. Not my fault!

Others may tempt us. No one else however, is responsible for our actions. No one makes us use drugs, view pornography, drink too much, over shop, or overindulge in screen time. We do these things because they provide relief from life’s stressors. The problem of course, is that immediate gratification usually comes with some consequence later. Then, when consequences arrive, we’re tempted to divert blame. Not my fault! In blaming others, we make matters worse. If we truly want to turn from self-destruction, we must take responsibility. Then we must learn to take our stressors to God, asking him how he wants us to respond. God will never lead us to self-destruction. Following him isn’t as easy as immediate gratification, and it’s always uncomfortable to take responsibility for our own actions. If, however, we want to recover from our self-destruction, acknowledging and addressing our failure is the only way.

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