You may remember my What You Can Learn From A Strong Man post last week and the Treasuring God’s Word post that went with it. We talked about Samson’s failed leadership and the fact that just because you have the tools to lead, or even if you were born for that very purpose like Samson, does not mean you will be a success in God’s eyes.
One of my favorite quotes for Christian Leadership is “Character Trumps Giftedness.” In other words, you can be very qualified technically to serve God, but disqualified because of your poor choices or testimony. Conversely, you may have few skills, but because of your devotion to Christ you are effective in some pretty unexpected ways.
Back to Samson:
I know that it is easy to see the sins of other people while being totally blind to our own sin. This is why Biblical immersion is so important. We need God everyday, And we see God and his will and ways in His word. Samson took God’s command lightly and was never the leader he was born to be.
If you are a Christian and have a leadership position in some sphere of your life, these lessons from Samson’s life are too valuable to miss:
1. Let’s be sure that we are not “spiritual loners.”
In a church, everyone needs everyone else. If you have a public position of influence in the church, this is especially true. You cannot do your job at an arms length distance and take the stance as a loner. Prov. 18:1 exposes such tactics: Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.
God set up the church as a one body with many members. An isolated Christian dramatically reduces his effectiveness, and sets himself up for Satan’s attacks. Just like in the animal kingdom, the predator always seeks out the loner. But those in the pack find safety. If you feel as though “in your position” you can’t really relate to or socialize with that group…may I suggest that you just get over yourself and stop it? Like my father in law, (the founding pastor of our church) always says, “There are no big shots in the church.”
2. Let’s be sure we are focusing on godly battles and not our own petty wars.
Let’s face it. Christians can be self righteous and sometimes we fight and war over our own personal desires: thoughts on methodology, church structure, clothes, music, worship style, tv shows, movies, books, etc…
Samson stopped fighting as an agent of the Lord (a righteous battle) and fought because he was angry.(a selfish war)
“As Christian, we need to beware of hiding selfish motives under the cloak of religious zeal and calling it righteous indignation. Personal vengeance and private gain rather that the glory of the Lord has motivated more than one crusader in the church. What some people think is godly zeal may actually be ungodly anger, fed by pride and motivated by selfishness.” Warren Wiersbe
There are times to stand up for what you believe is right. But you had better do it in a godly way, else all your good intentions are for nothing. Sin has a way of corrupting even good intentions.
3. When God brings correction into your life, you had better listen up! Samson’s parents tried to warn him about God’s laws, but he didn’t care. He paid the punishment for it several times. And when God sends someone to warn you about your deviant behavior, you would do well to listen.
My daughter Rebekah and I were just discussing this. About when to correct a scorner, or someone who will not receive correction in a humble manner? At some point, the Bible says you stop. And that is true in the church as well. There are some people who never learn, because they don’t want to.
Peter says that our goal as Christians brothers and sisters is to get each other ready to stand before God someday. It is a godly action to lovingly confront, if it is done for the good of that person. If you are just irritated and wanting to vent about something that you didn’t personally like, then don’t bother. You’ll always fall flat on your face with that kind of approach.
4. What you think is God’s blessing may not be.
Samson’s great strength was an unusual blessing from God which continued even through his most sinful moments. How many times do we go along our merry way ignoring God’s commands and assuming that all is well? Judgement did come for Samson as it will for those who are disobedient to the will of the Father. For those in the ministry using sinful means to get what they want, and not seeing any negative immediate results, beware. You are dealing with God’s church, his tool. God does not take lightly the casting aside of his will and ways.
So much to learn from Samson’s life, even if much of it was a warning. What are your thoughts on his life?