Samson hung his head. It had taken blindness and captivity to open his spiritual eyes. He grimaced when he remembered how his mother’s eyes shone every time she told the story of the angel’s visit predicting his birth. “The Lord Himself has chosen you to be His special servant to rescue Israel from the Philistines,” she said.
How much do you value your vision? Is it worth guarding?
I thought of Samson while reading 1 John recently. God anointed Samson with supernatural strength to deliver Israel (Judges 13:1-15:20). But Samson squandered his gift on vengeance and pleasure. His choices led to blindness and slavery. 1 John warns that hatred blinds the one who hates.
A Gruesome Example
Samson fell in love with a Philistine named Delilah. Delilah manipulated Samson into revealing the secret of his strength. She then sold him to Philistine lords who bound him and gouged out his eyes. Imprisoned Samson was forced to grind grain for his enemy.
Having witnessed a cat lose an eye, I can imagine blind Samson. His empty eye sockets provide a jarring picture of the consequences of sin.
1 John says, “But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness” (1 John 2:11 NLT).Hate blinds the hater. See 1 Jn. 2:11. Click To Tweet
Hate blinds the hater. Without sight, a person stumbles, falls, and bumps into others. He can’t see what’s right in front of him.
Those who hate won’t be bothered with facts. “What is truth?” they say, in order to deflect facts that might calm their inflamed passions.
We do this when someone offends us. In a perverted sense, it feels good to nurse an injury and replay how wrong our offender was.
1 John says that while hate blinds, love turns on the light. When we take our injuries to God and ask Him to help us forgive, light returns. One woman said, “After forgiving my offender lightness returned. How could I have ever thought that holding on to bitterness felt good?”
It is only fair to let offenses go since Jesus died not only for our sins, but also for the sins of the whole world—including the ones committed against us (1 Jn. 2:2). Since Jesus already suffered for the wrongs done to us we don’t have to keep holding on to them.It’s more destructive to hate than to be hated. #love, #forgive Click To Tweet
Turn on the Light
- Protect your vision by asking God to reveal any root of bitterness or hatred that may be hidden in your heart.
- With God’s help, forgive each person whose name comes to mind.
- Thank God for setting you free from bitterness and blindness.
- To learn more about forgiveness click here.
May we learn from Samson’s mistakes before we suffer or cause harm.
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Debbie W. Wilson