So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.”

— Judges 16:6 NIV

The longer I live the more I come to realize that there are people you will either elevate you or subdue you.

Those who elevate you seek to make you better. They see the greatness inside of you and will not allow you to be mediocre or settle for just anything.

Those who elevate you have a since of pride about themselves. They know their purpose and want you to know your purpose too.

Hence, when people elevate you, they are also elevating themselves.

When you rise, they rise. When you succeed, they succeed. When you rejoice, they rejoice too.

When you win, they win. When you achieve, they achieve. When you prosper, they prosper. When you flourish, they flourish. And even when you fall, they fall with you to help you get back up again.

I don’t know about you, but I thank God for people in my life who help to elevate me.

They don’t backstab me. They don’t turn on me. They don’t try to take what God has for me. And they are not jealous when God blesses me.

Those who elevate you have one purpose and that is to see you live your best life for God.

Just like there are people who elevate you, there also people who seek to subdue you.

Those who subdue you try to suck all the positive energy out of you.

They are relentless in their negativity. They never have anything good to say.

These people are unhappy. They seek to wreak havoc on your life. They are intrusive, having no respect for your boundaries.

They are overly dramatic, making mountains out of molehills. They are excessively critical, finding fault with just about everyone and everything in their lives.

They are chronic complainers, rarely finding anything to their liking or meeting their satisfaction. They always see the glass half empty versus half full.

In a real sense, those who seek to subdue you do so because they are already subdued themselves.

This is where we find Samson in the Book of Judges, Chapter 16.

According to the Bible, Samson was dedicated as a Nazirite from birth, which meant that no razor could ever be used on his head.

Because Samson was a devout Nazarite, he possessed superhuman strength.

The Bible states that Samson could slay a lion with his bare hands. He could massacre an entire army using only the jawbone of a donkey.

However, Samson had a weakness.

Like many of us, Samson desired to be loved.

Thus, when Delilah came to Samson and asked him to reveal his weakness, he told her.

After sharing this information with the Philistines, Samson fell asleep in Delilah’s lap and the Philistines creeped in and shaved Samson’s head and he lost his power.

Beloved, there are people who are seeking to find your weakness.

They want to know what makes you so strong. They want to know how can they make you average like everybody else. They want to know how can they stop you from walking into your destiny.

Yes, the Philistines had one desire and that was to prevent Samson from living his best life for God.

If there is a lesson we can all learn from Samson, it is this: We must be careful of the people who want to drain us of our God-given power.

God has great things in store for you. Don’t let your so-called friends and enemies drain you of your power and your divine potential.

As always, keep the faith.

Kevin R. Johnson is a frequent columnist and the lead pastor of Dare to Imagine Church, 6611 Ardleigh St., Philadelphia, PA. Follow him on Twitter @drkrj.

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