Week 27: Pride or Healing

Week 27: Pride or Healing

Today’s Text: 2 Kings 1-5

Key Verse: 2 Kings 5:1-14

In the passage I have selected for today, we find the story of the prophet Elisha and Naaman, a great commander of the army of the king of Aram. The scripture sets the scene: “The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy.” The story continues that word got to him about a great “man of God” – Elisha – who might heal him. Well, to make a long story short, Naaman makes his way to Elisha for help.

Now things get interesting.

When the great “warrior” arrives at Elisha’s house – Elisha sends word out to him – via messenger – to go wash in the Jordan and he would be healed.

Naaman isn’t impressed with Elisha’s prescription for healing. In fact, he is enraged that Elisha doesn’t even come out to speak to him.

Eventually, he is convinced to do what Elisha has advised – and is healed.

There’s more to the relationship between Naaman and Elisha, but let’s stop here for now.

It strikes me that we all, at times, are tempted to be like the great Naaman.

Our pride gets in the way of our healing.

We are given spiritual counsel – perhaps from a friend, a pastor, our own family members, the scripture itself – and in our pride – we refuse to hear it.

Naaman, at first said, “I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and would wave his hand over the spot and cure the leprosy!”

Did you catch it? The “I thought that for me…” part? That’s pride talking.

Only when is he is willing to set that pride aside and simply do what the holy man of God has said to do – does he find healing – does he find life.

Again, there is deep spiritual counsel for us all, I think.

We should never let our pride get in the way of listening, hearing, receiving healing from God – even if it comes in an unexpected way.

It’s all about choice: pride or healing.

Which shall it be?

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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