By Joshua McElhaney
“Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” – Albert Einstein.
A lot of attention focuses on character, but few people ever stop and think about how our character is developed. You aren’t born with character. Our character is our natural temperament modified by factors like childhood training and environment, thoughts and feelings from specific experiences gathered in life, or a more generalized consensus of life. Your character is not stagnant and unchangeable; it is shaped by how you choose to respond to everything that happens to you throughout your life. You get to decide to strengthen or weaken your character by choosing your response to everything in your environment.
This is what makes the story of Samson so captivating. Without question, Samson is the strongest human ever to live. He was blessed with divine strength, and God used Samson and his power mightily. Over and over again, we see the might of Samson on display.
Many preachers and scholars alike claim that Samson’s greatest weakness was Delilah. It wasn’t. His greatest weakness was his attitude. Albert Einstien was right, “weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”
As strong as Samson was, his propensity to show off his strength got him into trouble. Samson thought he was invincible. It’s the classic tale of a man’s gift being his downfall. He tempted fate and used his talent to exalt himself rather than God. Everything Samson ever accomplished was selfishly motivated. He did what he wanted and just expected his strength to remain. Samson never feared consequence because often, his power was enough to overcome his flesh.
Yet, Samson was developing a dangerous habit. A habit that would lead him to do something unimaginable. Most have wondered why Samson would tell Delilah where his source of strength resided? Was he so infatuated with her that he fell under some emotional spell? I think not. Samson made a mistake many leaders make; Samson soon believed that HE was strong.
Every time Samson tested the limits, and his strength bailed him out, he becomes more emboldened to sin. His attitude reeked of pride, and his character followed suit. His choices and his eventual responses created a disastrously prideful man. There is a difference between poor choices and poor character. Poor judgment is just that, a momentary lapse of judgment. We’ve all been guilty. On the other hand, poor character is a selfish behavior pattern, ego, arrogance, and making excuses for wrongdoing. Here the person never “owns” and feels responsible for mistakes and often defends them as “not that bad.”
Samson didn’t suffer from poor judgment; he had poor character.
No wonder the Apostle Paul told the Corinthians, “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.” The moment we forget that we are frail human vessels in the hands of an omnipotent God, we are in danger of falling. Samson forgot that it was God who strengthened him, and when faced with the opportunity to prove how strong HE was, he was left blind, bound, and broken. A mockery for sport to those who once feared him.
Every human is faced with choices and responses. How you choose to live your life and how you respond to the giftings God gives you will ultimately determine who you become. If weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character; then the flip side must also be correct. Strength of attitude becomes strength of character.
Every one of us has the opportunity to develop a strong character. The daily attitudes towards life and the things of God are the foundational components to building a character God can use.
Joshua McElhaney has served over 15 years in ministry, serving as both an Assistant Pastor for over a decade, and as lead Pastor. During his time in leadership, Joshua learned many valuable lessons about leading. Using his own experiences and the troves of Biblical treasures, McElhaney has created resources that will enlighten, empower, and enable leaders across the spectrum to lead the way God has called them to lead.
Joshua married Karena, his college sweetheart, in June of 2007. Together they have three beautiful children; Mayli, Jaxson, and Asher.
You can visit Joshuas blog at https://thecoffeehouse.blog/