Spend much time on planet earth — at least in 'Merica — and you will most likely hear someone use the idiom, "Don't drink the kool-aid!"
What do they mean?
Undoubtedly, the reference is to the tragic event in 1978 that happened under the control of Jim Jones, "an American religious cult leader who initiated and was responsible for a mass suicide and mass murder in Jonestown, Guyana... Jones subsequently committed a mass murder-suicide of 918 of his followers. 304 of them were children who were murdered, almost all of them by cyanide poisoning via a Flavor Aid and Kool-Aid mix." ~Wikipedia
An idiom is a phrase or an expression that has a figurative, or sometimes literal, meaning.
Flash back a couple of thousand years in time. In 2 Corinthians 12:7 the apostle Paul is addressing the people of Corinth, and in the midst of a lengthy letter we hear him make use of an idiom: "...to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh."
What did he mean?
More than likely Paul was alluding to the scenario in Genesis 3 where the LORD addressed Adam immediately after he'd sinned:
"Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you..."Adam was given the first thorn in the flesh. And because the address is right after the infraction, many believe the LORD is speaking in judgment. This is a serious mistake. If we follow the Spirit-led logic of the apostle Paul, we can see it in a radically different light.
Context is key.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul had just described the surpassing revelations given to him by God. Cool, you might think. But not cool when it comes to the weakness of our flesh and the corresponding tendency to elevate ourselves. To counter this tendency the LORD prescribed some strong medicine for Paul. It's critical to notice this medicine was preventive — definitely not punishment for something Paul had done. Specifically, it was to prevent him from doing something going forward. Again, this is key! We don't know what this preventive medicine was, but we do know it was effective. And we can be sure it was painful. Paul tells us he begged the LORD repeatedly for its removal, but the LORD let him know removal was not an option. "MY grace is sufficient for you," He said, "for power is perfected in weakness."
Note that earlier in Paul's letter he mentioned a former letter in which he had purposely caused the Corinthians sorrow. He had no regrets, for it was "sorrow according to the will of God." Such sorrow, he explained, is beneficial in that it "produces a repentance leading to a salvation without regret." God's sorrow has a saving effect. Contrast this with worldly sorrow which kills.
Flip back to Adam. In Genesis 3 the LORD addressed him just after he had sinned, and again, many think what followed was punishment. I strongly disagree. The consequence for sin — Death — had already been spelled out for Adam before he ever sinned. And as Genesis 5 relates, that definitively took place 930 years after the Fall. Something had to enable such a long life given a now corruption-oriented nature. In Genesis 3 we are given the answer. Adam is prescribed preventive medicine in the form of a cursed Earth along with these words from the Prescribing Physician: "In sorrow you will eat of it all the days of your life." Adam is prescribed sorrow according to the will of God. Note in Genesis 3 how many times the LORD says "I will." It is Godly sorrow, so know it will have a preservative effect. It will assist him and help get him 930 years down the road. It will save not only Adam, but give opportunity for all those who would be born to be saved as well. We are all beneficiaries of our first parent's thorns in the flesh.