Temperance (10)

“Jason! Time to come inside!” called Mother from the doorway.

With plastic sword in hand, Jason ran breathlessly from behind the house and met his mother at the door.

“Wow, that was fast!” she exclaimed. “What were you doing?”

“I’ve conquered the city of Gaza and am on my way to fight some more Philistines. They’re no match for the mighty Samson!”

Mother smiled at the young conqueror. They had recently read about Samson for their family devotions, and she was glad Jason had apparently listened.

“Yes, Samson—the strong one,” she confirmed. But then something occurred to her. “Wait a minute, Samson, before you defeat your next city there’s something you should know.”

Jason put his hands on his hips and turned to listen. “Are you strong?” she asked.

“Ver-r-ry strong!” he replied.

“If your sword was made out of real tempered steel, would you say that you were as strong as that sword?”

“Yep. Except I don’t know what ‘tempered’ means.”

“It means that through a special heating and cooling process, the steel was made to be extra strong and tough.”

“Oh yes, that’s me!”

“Well, this is what you need to know. Samson was indeed ‘tempered’ and extra strong—on the outside. But he lacked ‘temperance,’ which means to be strong—on the inside. Samson could kill a hundred Philistines as easy as we swat a fly, but he didn’t have the inner-strength to stay away from pretty Philistine girls—girls he knew to be wicked. I wonder if Solomon was thinking of Samson when he wrote, ‘he that ruleth his spirit (is better) than he that taketh a city.’ It’s easier to conquer a city than it is to control your own sinful desires!”

Jason hadn’t expected such a long speech from his mother, but since it concerned Samson, he found it interesting. Then a thought occurred to him, “Mom, why did you call me in?”

“For a snack,” she smiled, “to keep your strength up.” Then she added, “—inner-strength, that is.” ❖


Connie is the mother of 5 children and attends Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Walker, Michigan.