For my sermon series on Samson, I’ve been reading one of Chuck Swindoll’s study guides on Old Testament characters. In his remarks concerning Samson, Swindoll makes an excellent point about the value of understanding one’s own weaknesses. He writes:
It is important to know your strengths. But it is life-or-death essential to know your weaknesses….it was Samson’s vulnerability to sexual enticement that led to his demise….Possibly, like Samson, your area of weakness is a blind spot to you. If so, you can bet the aisle seat that the people around you see your weaknesses on a big screen, in 3-D, and in Technicolor. Certainly the Philistines could see Samson’s. Why don’t you ask a few friends for a candid film review of your life? Remember that “faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6). And be thankful that you’re surrounded by friends rather than Philistines!
Now, if you want to ask some of the people closest to you to identify your #1 weakness, feel free to do so. However, if you are like me you already know what your #1 weakness is. (And, no, I’m not going to tell on myself!) But however you figure it out, the key thing is to identify what your particular weakness is.
Maybe your weakness is sexual enticement, as it was with Samson. Do you enjoy looking at and lusting over attractive, scantily clad members of the opposite sex ? Maybe your weakness is the love of money. Do you spend most of your time and energy in the pursuit of the almighty dollar? Maybe your weakness is alcohol or drugs. Is your craving for either one your constant undoing? Maybe your weakness is gambling. How much money have you lost to that compulsion? Maybe your weakness is food. Did you know that the Bible categorizes gluttony as a sin right alongside drunkenness? Maybe your weakness is your temper. Has that out-of-control rage of yours gotten you into trouble more times that you’d like to admit? On and on the list goes because, let’s face it, weaknesses come in all shapes and varieties.
So you need to identify your weakness. We’ve got that settled. But then what should you do? Well, I’d suggest two things. First, ask the Lord to help you overcome that weakness. That’s His part. And, second, keep yourself away from those places and situations where you know your weakness will be tempted. That’s your part. You see, you can’t do God’s part, and He won’t do your part. But by working together you can keep yourself from ending up like Samson.