Overcoming self-righteousness through love

Do you ever stop to think that Bible stories from thousands of years ago have cutting-edge relevance when it comes to today’s issues—those close to home or across the globe? The story of Naaman in the Old Testament (see II Kings 5:1–14) often reverberates for me, especially when I’m holding views I’m not so ready to give up.

As captain of his army, Naaman helped win deliverance for his people. Yet when he was faced with what was described as a loathsome physical disease, the battle was of a different sort. Told by the prophet Elisha to do something that seemed demeaning for a heralded captain of an army to do—wash in the river Jordan seven times—he rejected this order in anger.

Naaman’s servants, however, encouraged him to take a second look, to humble himself and follow Elisha’s God-impelled directions. Naaman did, and had an instantaneous healing. Naaman went far beyond listening to servants—he gave up pride, ego, and self-justification, and responded to what we would understand today to be the light of the Christ. Mary Baker Eddy, author of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, defines Christ as “the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (Science and Health, p. 332).

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‘Safe in His encircling arms’
September 5, 2016

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