My last post was about the inner struggle that we have, when we are fighting against the temptations of life. The battle of ‘what we want to do’ vs. ‘what God wants us to do’. It’s one thing to be aware that we have this struggle, but the bigger issue is, “how do we win it?”
I heard a phrase a couple of weeks ago that answers this question. The speaker said, “Don’t let your WANTS determine your behavior”. This would also be known as living with integrity.
In the bible, there is a man named Samson. Samson was chosen by God to be the deliverer of Israel. He was given supernatural physical strength, good looks and was blessed by God. The secret to Samson’s strength was his hair; as long as he never cut it, he would always be an unbeatable powerhouse. Only he and his parents knew this secret. Someone like that could never be defeated….or could they?
“So the Philistines captured him (Samson) and gouged out his eyes. They took him to Gaza, where he was bound with bronze chains and forced to grind grain in the prison.” Judges 16:21
Samson was captured and ruined because he was his own worst enemy. He was so physically strong that no one could overtake him, but he lacked self-control, and that became his downfall. Instead of living a life of integrity, Samson lived a life that was dictated by his ‘wants’. His final ‘want’ was a woman named Delilah. This relationship was not acceptable, because Israelites were forbidden to marry outside their own people, and Delilah was a Philistine. But this was what Samson desired, and what he desired he indulged. Delilah ends up being bribed, by some lords of the Philistines, into finding out the secret of Samson’s strength and exposing it to them. This is how Samson becomes captured and enslaved as in the aforementioned verse.
We too can be our own worst enemies, leading ourselves into defeat. If we want to win the spiritual tug of war, we have to decide each and everyday that we are going to be people of
integrity. Instead of relying on our own power, we need to yield to God and let him lead us in the right direction, so we will not become victims of our ‘wants,’ when they are clearly not good choices.
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” (Galatians 5:16)
To end this post, I want to share with you a 4th grader’s view of integrity. It was written by my daughter a few years back. Sometimes students are the teachers. 🙂
Integrity By Deja Jackson