Wednesday, February 15, 2006

It's All Good

It's All Good!

He had superhuman strength and gigantic muscles. A man of strength and discipline, abstaining from those things that he has taken a vow to avoid. Imagine Sylvester Stallone with Fabio hair (except black). As a child, Samson was a hero in my mind. And the villain? Delilah! I thought Samson could do no wrong, and Delilah could do no good. Cut and dry. Black and white.

But as I read those same scriptures now, two problem areas pop out to me in Samson's life. He had an anger management condition. And he was intimate with the wrong kind of women. He could take a vow against touching the fruit of the vine or dead people, but he couldn't keep his hands off of at least two women who were not of his faith (two problems there, purity of body and purity of beliefs)! He used his superhuman strength to protect the nation of Israel, but it also emerged in times of anger. Temper tantrums, at any age, are not acceptable.

We all so want to put people into two categories: bad and good. Some are heroes, some are villains. But to be honest, there are bad traits in good people and good traits in bad people. We can't be so easy to judge or to put people on pedestals. We are what we are: human beings entrapped in the cursed flesh.

But there is good news. Even though there aren't always happily-ever-after endings, there is grace. Grace from a perfect man who was all good-no bad to be found. Jesus gives enough grace to save those who are only slightly bad or bad through-and-through. Not one of us is good enough to escape the need for grace. It's not about how good we can get on our own, it is about realizing we can't do it on our own at all, and we rely on the price Christ paid on the cross for our sins.

I guess there is a happily-ever-after ending after all.

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