“Don’t Let Self Indulgence Weaken Your Life”
by Rick Warren
“She prodded him day after day until he was tired to death. So he told here everything…”
Judge 16:16-17 (NIV)
The biblical strongman Samson was careless with his commitments. He made a vow, saying “God, I’m going to live for You.” And to remind him of his vow to God, Samson promised to never cut his hair.
But problem is that Samson refused to take himself seriously or to take God seriously. He thought everything was a big game and so he toyed with temptation: “How close can I get to the fire and not get burned?”
We see this clearly in his relationship with Delilah (Judges 16). She continually tempts Samson while asking him to tell her the secret of his great strength, And rather than fleeing temptation, Samson carelessly plays a game with Delilah, not once, but four times, and each time he compromises just a little bit more.
“How close can I get to the fire and not get burned?”
Because Samson was playing a game, he hardly noticed the step that took him from being close to the fire to actually being in the fire.
“Having put him to sleep on her lap, she called a man to shave off the seven braids of this hear … and so his strength left him. Then she called, ‘Samson, the Philistines are upon you.’ He awoke from his sleep and thought ‘I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the Lord had left him.” (Judges 16:19-20 NIV)
“He did not know the Lord had left him.” That is one of the most tragic statements in the Bible. He was unaware of what was happening; how his lifestyle was perpetually weakening him little by little. It was a gradual process. He had assumed he would always be strong.
Nobody ever plans to be a failure. It just comes on gradually. Nobody says, “I’m going to be a drug addict” or I want to break up my marriage” or I thing I’ll destroy my health.” But it starts with one little thing and builds and builds until the point that one day we wake up and say, “What happened? This isn’t living for God.”
What’s the lesson we can learn from Samson’s life? Strong people keep their commitments. They guard their commitments. They don’t play games with their commitments.
Consider this: Your life is only as strong as your weakest commitment.
What are you committed to? Are you committed to the Lord? Are you committed to a church? Are you committed to your family? That’s where your strength comes from.