LESSON 17: "A Little Servant Girl and the Proud General"

Big Idea for Parents
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis states, ““Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man... It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone.”  How often are we plagued by our pride?  How many times does it get in the way of our relationships, our success, our faith?  

In today’s story, Naaman was plagued by his pride – so much so that it nearly prevented him from receiving the life-saving – and live-giving! – gifts of God.  Not only was he suffering from a skin disease that prevented him from feeling anything on the outside – but he was also suffering from a “heart disease” that kept him from experiencing a life of joy in God.      

Like Naaman, when we receive God’s healing, we often feel as if we “owe” Him something in return.  But that is the beauty of grace.  God freely offers his love and forgiveness to us, no matter what amount of pride - or selfishness or anger or any number of other sins - is plaguing us.  We need only ask – and then live in that grace, putting our full faith in our God and Healer.  

Devotion
Can you think of a time when somebody was mean to you?  Did they take your favorite toy without asking or say something to you that made you want to cry?  How did you feel toward them when that happened?  What did you want to do or say to them?

Often times, when somebody does something that hurts us, we want to hurt them back.  Even though we know we should be loving and forgiving, it is hard for us to do that.  In today’s story, there is a young girl who has every reason to be upset.  She has lost her whole family and has to be a slave for the man who hurt them.  He has never been loving toward her – but that doesn’t stop her from loving him and helping him when he needs it most.

Read pgs. 136-143 to find out how God used a loving little girl to share His love with a very important man.    

Questions

  • What was leprosy and how did it make people feel?
  • When Elisha told Naaman to wash in the river, did Naaman obey?  What did he say to Elisha?
  • How did God heal Naaman?
  • Instead of hating the man who hurt her, the little slave girl loved him.  Can you think of someone who needs your love like the man needed hers?          
  • Naaman wanted to pay Elisha to thank him, but Elisha said, “God healed you.  It’s free.”  How can you thank God for healing you and forgiving the sin in your heart?      

Prayer
Dear Jesus,

Like Naaman, we sometimes act like we can fix things all by ourselves.  Help us always to remember that we need you – and that your gifts of healing and love and forgiveness are absolutely free!  Help us, also, to treat others – even those who hurt us – with your love!  In Your name we pray,  Amen.