When we look at those in the Bible who adhered to the ancient Nazarite vow, there’s perhaps none as famous as Samson. This Herculean man of enormous physical strength was consecrated for the work of God when he was born, and from the time he was young, it was “drilled” into his mind that he was not to touch any dead thing, to drink any wine, or to cut his hair. While he understood that he was a warrior set apart to save the Israelites from the Philistines, he was fascinated by the culture of his enemies and found himself constantly drawn to their lifestyle. This was especially dangerous, because while we think of culture in terms of music, art, and language, theirs centered around idolatry and prostitution. In the world of the Philistines, it was common for children to be killed alive in acts of sacrifice, and it was typical for women and kids who were captured in battle to be forced into temple prostitution. Since their society was oriented around such horrible abuse, it was important for Samson to be set apart from them, and it’s what made his Nazarite vow especially crucial. Though our culture today is not as blatantly wicked, it still behooves us to separate ourselves from the world for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
My friend, as you embrace this Christmas season, remember why it’s important to be set apart for Christ. While there’s always a temptation to prioritize worldly values over things unseen, keep your heart devoted to your Savior, and make time for what truly matters. Throw off the encumbrance of buying “perfect” gifts, avoid the temptation to hurry, and never lose sight of the precious people who cross your path each day. Every one of them has value in God’s sight, and when you choose to pray for them and encourage them, your light shines brightly in a sea of darkness and your vow to be set apart for Jesus becomes evident to all.