Emotion-Ill Have you ever made an emotional decision? Here’s what I mean: you’re struggling with something tough. You have a lot invested in the outcome, and you think you even know what you should do. You hang in there, but you have a lot of other things going on in your life, so it’s hard to focus.
Finally, overcome by your stresses—probably including some external influences—you give in. You abandon your original plan because it was just too hard. You couldn’t take the pressure anymore. And this is when the real trouble actually starts; now you have to deal with the fallout of giving in.
We don’t like to think of ourselves as “emotional.” Women are emotional, not us. We’re strong; we’re logical; we’re thinkers. But the truth is, all humans are emotional beings. And honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that; that’s how God made us. It’s when we allow those emotions to drive our actions that we get ourselves into trouble.
In today’s reading, we pick up with Samson and his Philistine drinking buddies slurping adult beverages. These guys hate him, but they’re content to stay as long as he’s buying. Samson decides to mess with them, so he makes them a bet that he can tell them a riddle they won’t be able to solve. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I will give you a hint: Samson is basically bragging about breaking his second rule (don’t touch anything dead).
When they can’t figure out the answer, they threaten Samson’s fiancée to pressure her into giving it to them. When they smugly give him the right answer on the last day, Samson realizes immediately what must have happened.
Now, here’s what I really want you to see here. Because Samson allowed his impulses and his emotions to lead him—rather than God’s Spirit—he made one bad decision after another. Samson never corrects course, but even when it’s time for him to pay the consequences for his own actions, still, God’s strength never leaves him.
Our strength comes from the Lord. He made us to be warriors, after all—which is precisely why we need to let his Spirit lead us. We have to be able to discern what, when, where, and how to fight. And we need to fight only for the things that are truly worth fighting for. Don’t trust your emotions. Trust God’s Spirit within you.
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