A general’s pride

July 10, 2013

2 Kings 5:
The thing Naaman valued most was in jeopardy—his pride.

Few had known of his condition, but as his skin grew more and more disfigured it had become impossible to hide. For a while he’d thought it would just go away—it must be an allergic reaction or something—but by now he knew it was hopeless. The great general who had led his troops with honor to so many great victories could barely even face himself in the mirror.

But without this brutal realization of despair, a man so proud could have never heard the counsel of a servant girl.

So as he’d done many times before, he loaded the horses and chariots and men, and marched into Israel.

Before he’d even reached the prophets home, a servant met him on the road with his instructions. He told Naaman it was simple—dip seven times in the Jordan River and he’d be good as new.

Pride, however, is not a characteristic easily outgrown, and for one so accustomed to control, a prescription other what he’d imagined was not so easily swallowed.

He huffed and puffed his way from the prophet’s home, furious. If he were going to jump in a river, he’d had done it at home… at least their water was clean enough he would have gotten a bath out of the deal.

But again he was persuaded by his staff—brought back to the reality that he had nothing to lose. He’d have done any number of daring feats or ceremonies to be cured—taking a dip in the river was no big deal.

Perhaps that’s what set him off in the first place. He was worthy of the greatest of tests! Climb a mountain to retrieve a rare blossom… cross the desert for magic stone… or at least drink the blood of some vile creature.

But none of those required the most perilous of journeys to Naaman—the one off his pedestal.

So with his ego wincing, he lowered himself seven times into the silty water.

When he finally came up for air, not only was his skin as new as a baby’s, but he was a new man.

by: Travis Brown

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A general’s pride