Have you ever been blown away to find out who somebody really was? I thought I knew her! How could he do that? That just doesn’t seem like something they’d be capable of. We reel in the wake of conflict or disappointment and grasp at any logical explanation for how we could've been so wrong. If this is you, I understand! I've been there too.
Sampson was a warrior and, from the sound of it, he had a few relationship issues. A powerful man, he had been married once before, gotten into an argument with his wife, and sent her away to live with somebody else. At the point of meeting Delilah, he was alone and being pursued by the Philistines. They wanted him dead.
Delilah must have seemed like the antidote to his ill. She would ease his sense of “alone”. She wants to marry me?!? Jackpot! Little did he know, she would be paid behind the scenes when she exposed his weakness to the Philistines. Don’t we all feel like we've hit the jackpot when we anticipate our needs being met?
Most people will tell us who they are, if we ask. Every single person will show us who they are over time.
So often we see what we “need” in other people rather than who they actually are. In our minds, we paint pictures of our lives together; our partners, friends, and coworkers. We try to paint our ideals into reality with happy, perfect brushstrokes. Imagine Sampson's despair when Delilah turned out to be somebody completely different from the woman he married.
Is there a Sampson or Delilah issue in your life that you're having trouble accepting?
Counterfeit seeps in where loneliness, desperation, and hurt leave us vulnerable. Here are some examples:
- When he tells you he's not interested in having a family, believe him. Your need for tribe is real. So are his feelings. Resentment will take place of hope over time, as he proves that he meant what he said.
- When she tells you she doesn’t “do church”, accept it. You need a faith community, whether or not your friend attends service with you.
- When he doesn't think porn is a big deal, hear that. Your need for real intimacy will never be found in cybersex.
- When your boss advances at business in dishonest ways, see that. You need a job, but at what expense?
"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." 1 Cor. 10:13
- Who or what is your Sampson and Delilah?
- What needs do they seem to be meeting for you?
- Where’s God in the relationship?
- Have you sacrificed spiritual health for a temporary comfort?
"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ." (Colossians 2:8)
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jer. 19:11)