Sunday, July 12, 2015

This week's lesson (July 11-17): the unlikely missionary

You probably know someone like Naaman.

He's one of those people "who mean well" -- "whose heart's in the right place" . . .

But he's picked up some crazy ideas along the way.

This is a man, remember, who thinks you can't worship God without the right kind of dirt.

And yes, that made sense back home -- back in Aram.

So did his belief that kings spoke for the gods . . . that healings required elaborate exorcisms . . . that payment was due for blessings given . . . and that a certain "latitude" might be allowed for something that looked like idolatry to everyone else.

In short, Naaman's beliefs have been shaped by his background; his ideas have been influenced by the way he was brought up.

Yes, he's like those people in your family whom you love . . .
  • Even though they've picked up some funny ideas about politics.
  • Even though they've picked up some funny ideas about music.
  • Even though they've picked up some funny ideas about the role of raw vegetables in the sanctified life.
Mind you, some of our own ideas may seem just as odd. We all come to God with "baggage," after all; we've all been influenced by the world around us -- just like Naaman.

That's why we all know someone like Naaman.

We see him every time we look in the mirror.

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