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But He Had Such Potential

But He Had Such Potential

Jun 20, 2012

Remember that guy back in high school — the one with all the good looks, the clothes, the money, and the car? Sure you do, he was the popular guy, the one every¬one wanted to hang out with, the one who shows up in your year¬book as “Most Likely to Succeed”, or “Most Popular Guy”. What ever happened to that guy? Did he take advantage of the advantages he had or did he throw it way with chasing girls, partying, and maintaining his cool image?

All of us have areas of weakness — character flaws, if you will. If we are smart enough to have good friends who are not afraid to point out our flaws to us, and we are wise enough to listen to our friends, then there’s hope for us. But uncontrolled weakness wreaks havoc in a person’s life, and will undoubtedly affect the lives of those around him.

In the Bible, the book of Judges tells of a man named Sam¬son, who was so strong he could kill a lion with his bare hands (14:5–6). He possessed physical strength unequalled by any human being. But he had an inner weakness that he either couldn’t or wouldn’t control.

Samson’s Achilles’ heel was uncontrollable lust. Despite a good upbringing and a clear calling in life, he gave in to lust and desire. He slept with prostitutes (16:1) and pursued woman that Nazirite laws forbid. Later, he met a woman named Delilah, and even though her motives were blatantly treacherous, he gave him¬self over—heart, mind, and spirit to sexual indulgence. After 4 times being asked by Delilah “tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued”, and 3 failed attempts to capture him, it’s not hard to assume that he was either excessively prideful and over-confident, dim, blind, or some combination of those. He was in such bondage to his sin that he allowed him¬self to be manipulated and eventually stripped of every¬thing he had.

Look around at some of the most powerful people of the last decade and see if you can spot some similarities. There was Enron, Arthur Anderson, Worldcom, Nortel, Adelphia Communications, Parmalat SpA, Satyam Computer Services Ltd, Tyco International Ltd, and who could forget Bernie Madoff. And let’s not forget some of our faithful government leaders like Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), Tom DeLay (R-TX), Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Eric Massa (D-NY), and many more.
Before he died, Samson lost everything: his strength, eyesight, and honor. The man who once led his country mightily became a slave to his enemies (vv. 18–25).

What has happened to leadership in our country and around the world? Look up the definition of leadership and you’ll find more than you can read. But regard¬less of the definition, the true purpose of leadership is not to exalt or pump one’s self up, or to benefit one’s self at the expense of everyone and everything else. Leadership is a responsibility to motivate, to serve others and to develop the next generation of leaders.
We are all leaders in one sense or another — in our families, our business, our church, in sports, etc. If we, like Samson and the men mentioned above, allow ourselves to get swept away in the fast moving current of pride, lust (either physical, monetary or otherwise), and desire we too run the risk of having friends, family, and coworkers point at us and say.… “Look at him now. He had such great potential.”

What is your weakness? Is it lust, insecurity, fear, greed, gossip, or pride? Personality flaws can be a powerful motivation for good or ill, depending on our response. A propensity for sin can ruin your life or drive you to utter dependence on God.

The choice is ultimately yours.

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