Monday, September 15, 2014

The role of the servant

Are we tired of the story of Namaan yet? I love this story, with all its layers and happenings.

When we last left Namaan, he had been told, by a messenger, to go wash seven times in the Jordon.  He goes on and on about how the rivers in his home are so much better than the rivers in Israel.  He is disappointed that Elisha didn't come out and wave a hand over him to heal him.

His servants approach him and ask, "Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, 'Wash, and be clean."? (verse 13b).  Interesting that the writer doesn't record a verbal response from Namaan at all.  Namaan goes and does what Elisha commanded, and Namaan is healed.

I don't know the relationship between Namaan and his servants.  Was it hard for them to step forward and confront this angry general?  Or was there relationship more open, and words such as this more acceptable and even expected?

Do you have friends who will point out where you go wrong in your spiritual life?  Do you have someone who would say to you, "Why are you so angry?"  or "Why are you making this so difficult?" or "Have you considered that you might be wrong?"  Are you open to friends who hold you accountable?

And are you willing to be that kind of friend to someone else?  Will you risk the other person's anger or rejection of your thoughts?  Are you open to the idea that your suggestions might be wrong?  The accountability friend isn't a "fixer;" he is a mirror of thoughts - a reflection of God's leading in the person's life back into their eyes.  That's a lot harder than being the person who just shares an opinion, because it means removing all personal motivation, and placing the other person's well being ahead of your own.

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