“Where have you been, Gehazi?” Elisha asked. “Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered. But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money, or to accept clothes, olive groves, vineyards, flocks, herds, or menservants and maid servants? Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and he was leprous, as white as snow.”
2 Kings 5:25-27
What God delivered Naaman from because of his obedience to the Word of the Lord, was inflicted on Gehazi because of his willful disobedience; but why such a harsh verdict? Jesus said in Luke 12:48:
“For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”
There is a real danger of getting comfortable in our faith. Faith, by nature, is never comfortable. It is constantly moving us out of our comfort zone. In fact, Hebrews 11 is a chapter of scripture filled with examples of people who were moved by faith that faced trials, persecution and even death.
When we get comfortable in our faith then we, like Gehazi, begin to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to and ignore our own sinful tendencies:
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?’’
Gehazi had been given so much; because of this so much more was required of him. Naaman, comparatively, had received little; thus the expectations for him were not as high. However, Naaman would not be able to hide behind his naivety forever. Like, all of us, he would have to mature his faith.
Gehazi had the opportunity to play a tremendous role in Naaman’s life, but instead he chose to be critical and take advantage of Naaman’s generous spirit.
It is important to remember that we, who are more mature in our faith, in fact should nurture and instruct those who are learning to live according to God’s Word, but we should do so with humility through the lens of grace, mercy, and kindness.
Pastor Scott Burr