The danger of having a person with a split personality around you, having a Samson in your church, is that they are simultaneously both strong and weak. For them personally that is a huge issue, but it is also an issue for everyone around them.
Firstly, it is hard for people to know that people like that need help, because in their public life they look so strong, they look so devoted to God. As a pastor, if you assume someone like Samson is strong and mighty, why would you offer to help them?
If you are Samson, if the first couple of posts have located you in some way, you need to now become vulnerable and ask for help! You need to let people know that you are compromising and need freedom. Do it now because things will only get worse if you do not.
When you look strong, but are weak in private, nobody can actually help you. But when you say “I am weak here”, people can get into your life and help you. As a pastor, there are some people in my church who are genuinely low maintenance, they don’t really need a visit from me, and they don’t need counsel. They are strong people, strong in the Word, strong in the Spirit, strong in love. But when I see a weak one, I want to help them. But if you are weak, but you act like Samson in public, you will not get the help you really need. And that’s true across every church.
Samson had a mighty ministry, killing many many enemies of God, but in private he was a weakling. He was both strong and weak. How he was at home was not how he was at church.
In Judges 16, in one verse Samson is running away with the gates of the city on his back, in another verse he is allowing Delilah to dominate him because he cannot say “no” to a woman. Strong and weak! In the same chapter! And that’s how the enemy beat him in the end – through his weakness. Samson’s pastor didn’t know his weakness, but the devil did.
There might not be a single human who knows your weakness, but the devil does. So tell some humans who are strong, and deal with this before the devil traps you and deceives you and you are the “whom he may devour”!
A lot of politicians are Samsons, one thing in public, and another in private. We are not called to be politicians, but people of integrity, so let’s get this sorted – and church, especially elders and pastors – if strong people open up to you that they are weak, don’t manipulate them, don’t accuse them, don’t mock them – but those of you who are spiritual: restore them! Love them, help them deal with their weakness, be firm but be kind.
Next post – let’s look at how to deal with it when Samsons stab you in the back.