When her son was born, she named him Samson. And the Lord blessed him
as he grew up. And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him.
Judges 13:24-25 (NLT)
Go Deep: Samson’s story in Judges 13-16 is a real head-scratcher. Obviously he was an amazingly talented but incredibly flawed leader. He was as strong as an ox but highly impulsive. He had been set apart for God’s purpose yet throughout his life continued to be firmly attached to fleshly desires. And most obvious of all, Samson had a weakness for women—not the first (or last, unfortunately) spiritual leader to have that particular weakness. Definitely this leader had feet of clay.
How can God choose to use such flawed leaders? Why does God seem to bless men and women who are not only not perfect, they are glaringly weak? Doesn’t he realize that when he promotes people to such visible positions of influence who are bound to fail, they give the rest of us, and our cause, a bad name before a watching world when they fall?
Well I hate to disappoint you here, but I can’t really answer those questions. God has his reasons, and sometimes he doesn’t share his insights with us. I do know this: If God chose only perfect people for leadership positions, we’d have no leaders. All leaders are flawed to some degree.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not excusing weaknesses, only explaining them. I get frustrated by flawed leaders who have failed , too, but what I have learned over the years by watching many great but flawed leaders is simply this: I must not confuse the gift with the package.
God places his incredible gifts within deeply flawed packages—that has always been and always will be. And in regard to your spiritual leader, it is likely that they are an extremely talented and charismatic person who has the call of God on their life. But don’t forget, like you, they are flawed.
So celebrate the gift, but don’t worship the package. Pray for them, build accountability systems around them, do what you can to help them to stay dedicated to God’s purpose for their life and leadership role, and pray for them.
Did I mention pray for them?
Just Saying… John Stott wrote, “The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.” So true!