I don’t know many people who enjoy conflict. Especially relational conflict. But truthfully, I think we stay away from dealing with this type of conflict because it is hard. It takes energy and sometimes we think its not worth the effort.
However, these days, we fast food everything including relationships. And in the end, if we don't take time to invest in people we will end up with empty stomachs and hearts. We will end never being full and end up with many acquaintances and not many true friends.
There are a million topics you could talk about with a character like Samson. If you read about his life it is obvious what his struggles are. For this post, have a look at the passage about what transpires when he is about to marry a woman and it goes wrong…Judges chapter 14 - 15:6
It is very messy.
One thing that stuck out (besides trying to woo your bride with a young goat?!) is that Samson was hurt and instead of dealing with it and forgiving the father (understanding his mistake of not communicating) took his anger out on other people. This, sadly is what a lot of us do! When someone hurts us, rather than deal with it, we get angry and we walk away.
Maybe you are thinking that its ok do to this. And for some relationships maybe. But Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers. To be a peacemaker, you have to move toward making the peace. It requires action. It doesn't mean you get to let peace just come to wherever you are and then find solutions. Peacemaking means going to the parties and working to resolve the conflicts.
But In this story, because Samson doesn’t communicate and doesn’t let anyone know his intentions; the woman he wanted to marry was given away. Then Samson, rather than confront the hurt, his lack of communication and the people directly involved; he takes his fury out on others. The sad thing is, because he does that, the woman and her father are killed as well because they are blamed for what Samson does.
This is very messy.
This whole situation could have been avoided. Samson, could have realized his mistake. Samson, could have communicated his intention or even that he needed time to cool down. But Samson lacked the ability to look inward and found ways to vent at others, found ways to be angry and to lash out.
Too many times I see people act(or react) out of emotion and insecurity rather than taking the time to process what happened and how to properly deal with tough issues. Samson is insecure, he is proud and he doesn’t care about the rules. In the end, he ends up being manipulated, lied to, betrayed and enslaved. All because he couldn’t let it go. All because he was unable to forgive. He has no vision (literally & figuratively), he is grinding grain probably walking in circles.
Circles. We will often repeat our mistakes if we don’t realize what we personally did wrong or communicate our hurt and forgive.
The tragic thing that stuck out to me about Samson, was that he missed out on the enjoyment of God. He did get used by God but not in any way that he enjoyed it. He was too focused on what he wanted, on what he desired, rather than focusing on how God had a uniquely gifted him to help his people. Too often, we settle for a life that is way short of our best because we are unable to forgive, unable to look inside and deal with conflict.
I think we all need to be brave and confront who we are, communicate our hurts (and intentions) and find ways to forgive when we are hurt. Maybe then, we will see the full life we all want and enjoy everyday…
the story continues…