Monday, April 17, 2006

Hi. I'm Samson...

So if you've ever gone to my profile on, you've seen what my greatest weakness is...beautiful women. Wow, I just came out and said it, didn't I? Well, believe it or not, I have other weaknesses. It's just that beautiful women take up more space in that part of my life than most anything else. It really makes me feel like Samson. Not that I'm all strong or anything. If you've ever studied about Samson, you know that he had a great weakness for beautiful women. He also had issues with an invincibility complex that ended up killing him. That's another story. I'll get to it in a little while.
Back to the confusing topic at hand (let's see if I can make it less confusing). In a recent Bible study, we talked about Samson and the different things that made him special and memorable. For example, Samson was "set apart to God from birth" (Judges 13:5) and given strength unmatched by any man. Let's be honest. This guy was a freak of nature. You can't deny it. Anyone who tears a lion apart with his bare hands and beats a thousand men to death with a donkey's jawbone is pretty much a freak of nature. Even though he had all that strength, his weakness consumed him until it killed him. You see, Samson kept getting himself in trouble with people because of the woman he loved. His first love ratted him out to the thirty friends that were given to him as a wedding gift (Judges 14 makes more sense of this story). In his anger, he beat up thirty men, stole their clothes, gave them away, all while his wife was being pawned off to a friend from his wedding. He let his temper get the best of him and sought vengeance. He burned up grain, vineyards and olive groves that belonged to the philistines, who, in turn, burned up Samson's wife and her father. He went back and attacked the philistines, slaughtering many. It took three thousand men to capture him and tie him up, only for him to break the rope and commence the bludgeoning with the donkey's jawbone. It was all about revenge and it was all because of a beautiful woman.
He had a small matter with a prostitute and then there was Delilah. Oh, Delilah. Such a beautiful, crafty, eventually deadly woman. Long story short, she talks him into telling the secret of his strength. Now here's where a lot of people get confused or mislead. Many people think that Samson lost his strength because his hair was cut off when, in actuality, God left him. Samson had relied on himself for so long that he became arrogant and took his God-given strength for granted. You should read the whole story for yourself. It's pretty interesting. You can find it in Judges 13-16. (If you don't know where Judges is, it's in the Old Testament, the seventh book of the Bible. It's right after Joshua and right before Ruth.)
Now, I'm sure you're wondering what this has to do with me and why I went into that crazy long episode giving a summary of Samson's life. Here's why. I'm in the same boat. Granted, I'm not going around ripping lions apart or beating people to death (although I feel like doing that on occasion), I often find myself being persuaded (easily) by beautiful women to do things I wouldn't normally do. I've noticed that I usually become a total goober around beautiful women, as do most guys, and that turns into me wanting to prove my masculinity and ending up doing or saying something stupid that I'll regret later. Any male who has ever had feelings for a woman can probably relate to what I'm saying. You do everything you can to impress her and you would defend her to the death if you had to. The problem is this little thing called pride. You feel like you have to prove your worth and when someone opposes or embarrasses you, you seek vengeance. It may not be physical, but the attacks are very real on an emotional and a spiritual level.
That brings us to the watershed moment. The turning point where you decide you're going to get rid of yourself and, being emptied of all your sinful ways, be filled with God and let His grace give you a fresh start. So now we have a decision to make. Do we keep doing the same dumb stuff over and over again? Or do we make that life-changing move toward living the life we've been called to live, holy and righteous in His sight? Here's the catch. It's not going to be an easy road to travel. We're gonna face all kinds of temptations and trials. It all depends on how strong we are. God has given us all strength beyond our realization or understanding. It's our job to harness that strength to do His will. I have to make that decision every day. I challenge you to start facing the things that are wearing on you and figure out how to overcome them. Here's a hint...the figuring starts on your knees.