February 28, 2013

“But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.” 2 kings 5:11

English: Naaman in Jordan River (2King 5:14) Р...It is just common sense.  Everyone knows how leprosy is healed:

Step 1 – The healer comes out and stands before the afflicted;

Step 2 – The healer prays to God;

Step 3 – The healer does a “magic hands” routine over the afflicted;

Step 4 – The afflicted is healed.

That is how leprosy is healed; everyone knows that.  Naaman knew that and was angry because Elisha had wasted his time.

I have sat around many a campfire, kitchen table, living room and heard the Naamans of the world rant about the idiots who did not do “_______” right.  I have been a Naaman more times than I care to admit.  I have very strong opinions on many things: politics, laws, economics, coaches, athletes, pastors, teachers, authors, etc.  I have espoused my position on many a topic with the confidence of an expert.

The world is filled with self-proclaimed “experts” like myself.  We know exactly how something should have been done but have often never actually done it ourselves. We enjoy identifiying what is wrong while ignoring all that is right.  We know exactly the correct process based on how it has always been done in the past.  We are the “cold water” of experience that dampens any suggestion of trying something new.  Our favorite saying is, “That ain’t going to work.  It is just common-sense.”   We love to lift up our own intelligence while we care very little of how we degrade another.

Naaman suffered from a malady other than leprosy.  Naaman had a pride problem.  Naaman knew how leprosy was supposed to be healed.  He was not shown the proper respect and he was not going to put up with Elisha’s ridiculous directions.  He almost missed out on the miraculous due to his pride.

The Church is filled with Naamans.  We know how God works and will often get angry at doing anything that is not the “right” way.

Worship is done with no music;

Worship is done only with hymns;

Worship is done only with praise songs;

The correct Bible version is the King James;

The correct Bible version is the ESV;

Speaking tongues are gifts that have past;

Worship is not happening without speaking in tongues;

Church has to be done in a building;

Church should not be done in a building;

The service needs to have a formal liturgy;

The service needs to be informal and causal;

Healing happens through a healing service;

Healing happens when the elders lay hands on and anoint with oil;

Healing doesn’t happen anymore.

There are so many folks out there making the case for the “right” ways of walking with the Lord or the “right” way of doing Church or the “right” way of doing missions.  It is a little mind-boggling how many people are advocating the “right” way.  I wonder how many of those ardent advocates are merely Naamans for their own cause.

The Bible is very clear about certain things.  We need to hold fast to the clear teachings of the Bible and be better at identifying those doctrines that are core to our beliefs and those where we can agree to disagree.  It appears to me that much of our attitudes about the correct way to be a Christian is wrapped more in Namaan-like pride than in sound theology.

I wonder how much of the miraculous we have missed out on due to our pride.

God is a powerful.  He can do whatever He wants to do.  He does not have to follow a prescribed set of man-made rules.  He does not have to be worshiped in a certain manner.  He does not have to work in our lives in a certain manner.  The acquired common-sense of our own experiences does not apply to God.

I am aware that this is an area where I need to examine my motivations on a more regular basis.  I think that the Body of Christ will benefit greatly by all of us examining our hearts for this particular type of pride.  I believe that God cares more about the “Naaman-like” pride in His people than the sacred processes that we so earnestly defend.  The wisdom and discernment of our Lord and Savior is needed to allow us to humbly and graciously walk with our brothers and sisters in Christ in unity.

We need to set aside the pride of our desire to be right and be more concerned about the souls of our fellow heirs in Christ than our pet issue.

“For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died.  Thus, sinning against your brother and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.  Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” (1 Cor. 8:10-13)

Paul was addressing the eating of certain foods.  Some thought it was prohibited.  Others felt free to partake.  Paul shows us that we are actually sinning against our brother when we use our freedom in Christ to make them stumble.  Pride is what makes us proclaim the rightness of our freedom at the expense of our brothers and sisters.

There have been several times when I have been in a discussion and I have not even considered whether the discussion causing my brother to stumble.  I was just focused on the correctness of my position.  There have been many times when a brother or sister has addressed me in a manner that was clearly about them getting something off of their chest rather than a concern about being a stumbling block to my faith.  Most pastors have been discouraged at one point by how someone has informed them of what they feel is being done wrong.

Often, we live in a manner that demonstrates that we love our issue more than we love the person who is on the other side of that position.  When we do that, we are failing at the second greatest commandment; “love your neighbor as yourself.”

May our Lord humble us so that we will care more about our fellow heirs rather than feeding our selfish desire to be right.  May we be willing to appear weak through the grace of Christ even when we are the one who is stronger.  Let’s not miss out on the miraculous due to our Naaman-like pride.

PRAYER: Father, forgive me of my Naaman-like pride.  Lord, I pray that I have not been a stumbling block to my brother or sister.  Father, give me a compassion for their well being.  Give me wisdom to discern those issues that matter and those that are preferences.  Give me wisdom as to how to discuss the wonderful truths of your Word, those issues where there our lack of complete understand has lead to disagreements, in a manner that is edifying to all and not a stumbling block to any.  Lord, give me a love for your people; humble me so that the tone of what I say conveys your love.     Amen


  1. Reblogged this on Along The Way and commented:
    You will love this post from boyslumber.wordpress.com // We all have been a Naaman before…(read the rest to get it; it’s worth the read)

  2. How do we than correct a doctrine that has set up its own stumbling block? How do we weed out the pharisees who would like to plant yokes of bondage in the body of Christ…we do need to rebuke as Christ did, doctrines that do harm to the cause of Christ, that little yeast that leavens the whole loaf ….good article, do all things with prayer and supplication before the Lord. Humbleness seasoned with salt comes to mind

  3. Ouch! 😉 Keep speaking (writing) the truth in love- good stuff!

  4. Love it!!! That preaches!!!

  5. Guess I am a female version of Naaman! Getting the last word, one-upping, etc. much needed word, as always, JD.

  6. I love this passage!

  7. Reblogged this on Fisherwoman and commented:
    awesome Word. It’s crazy that I opened up the WordPress to this blog concerning Naaman because I was just talking to one of the sisters about Naaman! Confirmation!! amen bro!!

  8. […] “IT IS JUST COMMON SENSE” – Feb. 28. […]

  9. As Tony the Tiger would say ” GReEAaTT”!!!! Having known so many wonderful Christian friends filled with humility and LOVE…during my lifetime…who were able to “live this” gives me hope that it is truly possible….God be merciful to me a sinner, grant me Your grace to do the same!

  10. Yikes … convicted! … I wrote a poem about our words and deeds here http://heidiviars.com/2013/01/24/word-and-deeds … it’s short … you might like it … it came out of my own conviction to do more and talk less 😦

  11. Amen…we all need to be reminded of this

  12. Thank you,
    “May we be willing to appear weak through the grace of Christ even when we [think we] are the one who is stronger. Let’s not miss out on the miraculous due to our Naaman-like pride.”
    I need that.

  13. Reblogged this on One Starving Activist and commented:
    I needed this, today and many other days…

  14. Thank you JD. This is what I needed today – it’s time to removed the beam from my own eye, so I can help (if needed) remove the splinter from my dear brother’s eye.

  15. Thank you for this reminder. And thank you for reading my Evergreen post. God bless.

  16. This is so true.

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