Some people are allergic to success.
That’s really the only thing I can come up with when I look at some people. It’s not that they haven’t been given the opportunity to succeed – it’s simply that they’re allergic. Every time the door to success opens their immune system goes berserk and they shut down. So the door closes, success walks away and they are left standing there wondering why they can’t ever catch a break – why life always seems to be stacked against them.
Samson was a guy like that – allergic to success.
He started out full of promise. It seemed as though he had everything going for him. His mother had been sterile but God miraculously provided a baby. The baby was to be set apart – dedicated to God. His specialness included a vow on his part to abstain from alcohol (not a general prohibition for all believers, but specific to him), not to eat anything unclean, and not to cut his hair.
So Samson, whose name means “Sunny”, was born. This guy is set up for success. God has promised to use Samson to deliver Israel from the hands of its enemies. But Samson’s allergies kick in and he repeatedly does things that show that he cares more about the world than acting like a called-out believer.
He marries a Philistine woman. This is not an indictment on other ethnic groups – it’s an indictment on becoming intimate with people from false religions. In his pursuit of this woman he is forgetting about being set apart for the One True God. Not only is he aligning with a false god, he should have been going to war against the Philistines rather than to a wedding.
On his way to visit his fiancée during the engagement he kills a lion and becomes unclean by handling a dead body.
He becomes embroiled in arson, murder, and revenge. This is not exactly a stand-up guy here. He’s actually more of a thug and bully. Though he had been chosen by God and set up for success, Samson continually does things to slam shut those open doors.
In the end his enemies pluck out his eyes and chain him in the pagan temple for their amusement. The man whose name means “Sunny” is now plunged into darkness, ridiculed by the very people God had chosen him to defeat. His last declaration is: “Let me die with the Philistines.” He dies, not as a God-fearing believer, but with the pagans in their temple. He does more to destroy the enemy in death than he ever accomplished in life.
Samson wasted all of the potential God had for him. The opportunity for success was there but he squandered it.
Even today there are many people who are allergic to success. They fail to move when the door is open. They can’t find the get-up-and-go to take advantage of what has been set before them. The allergy is horrible because it prevents people from seeing the problem. Rather than realizing they shot themselves in the foot they simply ask, “Why can’t I ever catch a break?”
One of my favorite quotations is:
God has a purpose and potential for you. Seek Him – discover his potential for you. Grab onto it and don’t forfeit it by making dumb choices. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot and stand back wondering what happened. Your own choices will play a HUGE part in your failure or success.
Don’t be a Samson. Fight this deadly allergy and you can know success.