Posts Tagged ‘Manoah’

Leadership strengths are often found in close proximity to blindspots. An overpowering strength, in particular, usually has an associated blindspot.”   Robert Bruce Shaw  Leadership Blindspots

 

I got this quote in one of the secular leadership blogs that come in my email.  Honestly most of them I don’t even look at closely anymore.  However this one caught my eye.  I am always intrigued when a secular article espouses a biblical truth.  I am certain that if you read Mr. Shaw in depth he differs considerably from Paul’s view on this subject.

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  2 Corinthians 12:9

In Philippians 3 he talks about what was becoming a huge blind spot for many of the Jewish believers.  They had a strong belief in the overpowering strength of their religious heritage. Paul’s reply to this blind spot was that if anyone had reason to rest in the strength of religious heritage, it was Paul.   He goes on to say:

7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death ;

These apparent strengths can even be gifts from God.  Unfortunately as the author notes, the more overpowering the strength, the closer the blind spot.  Consider Samson, called to save his people even before he was conceived and dedicated to God as a Nazirite from conception.

“Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. 4 “Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing. 5 “For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb ; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” Judges 13:3-5

He had two great strengths.  The most obvious one was his physical strength.  The second was his godly discipline as a Nazirite.  As the story unfolds we see the blind spots that develop as he grows to be comfortable in his strengths.  He achieves victory after victory and as happens all too often, the blind spot involves a growing sense of powerful self eclipsing the very God that is the source and sustenance of that power.  He ignores the godly counsel of his parents and after that does not even seek wise counsel, after all he is the Nazirite, he is the chosen one of God, who would counsel him. Even when 3000 men of Israel come to hand him over to the Philistines he does not see the selfishness of his actions.  He uses the strengths given him by God out of anger, out of hurt yet he continues his disciplines and as promised God sets him as Judge over Israel.  We so often attribute success with righteousness.  We see the Spirit of the Lord come upon Samson time after time so he must be in a right relationship with God, right?  This is a misconception that leads to great disappointment and injury.  When men and women of God exercise their gifts in blind spots, God’s will still moves through those strengths but when we measure their fruit by Galatians 5 we see the disconnect.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control ; against such things there is no law.

Samson’s disregard for his parents; his failure to seek godly and wise counsel ( as his mother did cf. Judges 13:8, 8 Then Manoah entreated the LORD and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom You have sent come to us again that he may teach us what to do for the boy who is to be born.”); his lack of concern for the consequences of his actions on the very people he was sent to save all point to the blind spots that Samson fostered and ignored.  While Scripture does not record it as a parent I can only imagine their continuing and more desperate attempts to reach their son.  Wise counsel whether it is from parents, mentors or just from people that God places in our lives is key in illuminating the blind spots that the Enemy will manipulate to our harm and harm to those around us. Samson is an apropos example of blind spots because in the end it brought physical blindness.  The will of God for his life was ultimately achieved as he brought the house down on Philistine power in the region but how much more of a story if his blind spots  had not interspersed such tragedy into God’s call on his life.

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