My Name Is Samson

My Name Is Samson

Samson’s story presents the irony of a powerful and yet absolutely powerless man. God gave Samson incredible physical strength. But neither physical strength nor strength of will can overcome our sinful addictions. Samson’s particular addiction was sexual, and his obsession led him to squander his God-given strength. Addictions are often attempts to meet personal needs through physical pleasures. Each human being comes into this world equipped with a nearly insatiable, lifelong need for love. Only God is big enough to satisfy that demand. In fact, we’re created to love, and to be loved, by God. Sex can seem to be a powerful substitute for love. That shouldn’t be surprising, since sexual love is designed by God to be enjoyed by a husband and wife with such intensity that their intimacy reflects the love Jesus has for his church (see Ephesians 5:28-32).

What was Samson’s overriding failure? He failed to enjoy and share God’s love and the love of others. In addition, he didn’t care enough about his own people to use his strength to set them free. This strongest of men settled for the substitute and sacrificed his God-given asset.

Samson never fulfilled his purpose in life, even though he frequently demonstrated evidence of his amazing power. Regularly in his story we’re told that “the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him” (e.g., see Judges 14:19). If we’ve worked through the first seven principles on the road to recovery, we’ve both experienced and displayed God’s power. However, if we fail to continuously practice Principle Eight, we’re in danger. Recovery includes sharing our experience of change with others. Real recovery will make the needs of others more important to us than our own: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

Samson, like the rest of the judges God empowered, was born to deliver others from bondage. Instead, Samson squandered his gifts on personal gratification. Sobriety doesn’t equal recovery. It’s the beginning point of a process that will help us to fulfill God’s purposes in our lives. Those purposes include using our pain as a platform for proclaiming God’s power to heal broken lives and set captives free.

New Life

Powerless and Abused

We admitted that we were powerless over our dependencies and that our lives had become unmanageable.There are societal forces beyond our control. We live in times when sexual abuse is commonplace and security in relationships is hard to find. We may know the agony of being sexually abused or bear the shame of allowing someone else to be victimized when we were in a position to protect them. A deep sense of powerlessness is experienced in this kind of situation.

Before Israel had a king, there was no law and order; “all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25). A horrifying story is told of a young woman who was brutally gang-raped. Her husband had allowed her to be taken by a group of men who had been trying to attack and rape him. He “took hold of his concubine and pushed her out the door. The men of the town abused her all night. . . . When her husband opened the door to leave, there lay his concubine with her hands on the threshold” (Judges 19:25-27). The girl died there on the doorstep. Her death became a rallying cry for reform, but she had been lost. Her husband was left with terrible shame and guilt. The man and his young wife were both victims, suffering the pain of powerlessness in a crime-filled society.

If we have been victims of sexual abuse, we must begin by acknowledging that we were powerless. Although we suffered the abuse, we were not the cause of it. This realization is an important key to our recovery.

Recovery from being a victim begins by recognizing our powerlessness.

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