August 07, 2007

Dangerous, Nervous, and Not Very Smart

2 Kings 5:19-27

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8


Every few months the bank's security officer reviewed procedures to follow in case of a bank robbery. The officer stressed that the main objective was to keep anyone from harm and to get the robber out of the building as soon as possible, because "he could be armed, he's definitely nervous, and he's probably not very smart."

At the end of the story of Naaman's healing we find the sad story about Elisha's servant Gehazi. In his greedy nervousness, Gehazi is not very smart. He makes up an unlikely story, and he foolishly asks for bulky and heavy things (clothing, silver) rather than gold coins that would have been easier to carry. Gehazi's plot was also dangerous, for on the surfaces of that cloth and silver lurked Naaman's disease.

But Gehazi's actions also illustrate how easily sin multiplies. Gehazi's tenth-commandment sin of coveting quickly mushroomed into other sins: disobeying his master, misrepresenting the name of God, stealing, piling up lie upon lie, worshiping things instead of God. And Gehazi did all this just shortly after God had done an amazing miracle of healing!

Let's not deceive ourselves: the thoughts that rattle around in our brains can be more dangerous than we think. Make a commitment to deal with sinful thoughts before they become sinful actions.

Our Father and Master, help us in our struggles with the sinful attitudes that lie within us. In all that we do, help us to concentrate on your miracle of healing grace. Amen.

About the author — Fred Bultman

Fred Bultman began a “second career” as a pastor in 1997, after a first career in the banking business.  He served as pastor to congregations in the U.S. and Canada. In retirement, he continues to enjoy sharing in the ministry of the churches in and around his home in Fremont, Michigan.

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