Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This Syrian

As we were studying through 2 Kings 5 and Naaman the Leper I was struck with the way Gehazi referred to Naaman after Naaman clearly became a believer when he was cleansed from his leprosy.  After Elisha had made it clear that he would not accept gifts or payment from Naaman, Gehazi decides to take advantage of Naaman and pad his possessions by taking advantage of Naaman.  

It is the way he refers to Naaman that indicates to me the sinful heart of Gehazi.  You would think he would be amazed at the grace and mercy of God to save this pagan man.  But this is hardly Gehazi's attitude.  Instead of seeing him as a convert, as a brother and in particular a soul that has been snatched out of the flames of Hell, he continues to see him as an enemy as someone to use but not to love and serve.  He refers to him as "this Syrian".    His speech betrays a heart that is not wrapped up in the Lord and in people serving Him but he is only concerned with what affects him personally.

Does our speech betray defective hearts?  Do you find yourself referring to people in ways that are hateful and that clearly show that you see yourself as superior to them?  Even worse is when Christians see each other in this way.  Hopefully when we see or think of each other we see people that we love and want to know what their needs are; we don't just see someone to be used.  

Let it begin in the way we refer to each other.  Use terms of endearment because why should we refer to one another in the same way we address those outside the kingdom of God.  Not that we should address them hatefully or coldly but should not the way we speak to each other reflect a love and closeness that others can see and hear?  

Jesus says in John 13:35  "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."   Surely one way we show this love is by kindness in our speech and an attitude of service, not one of taking advantage.  We should look at each other as people that will spend eternity together and as sharing the most amazing thing in common, the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Oh Lord forgive us for not loving one another in the deepest of loves.

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