A Naaman Complex

Recently my husband asked me to do a few things, and I have to admit that my response wasn't too good. There’s nothing glorious nor grand about wiping down cupboards, washing ceiling fan fixtures and especially about scrubbing hard water marks out of toilets, but they are things that need to be done, and they do fall into the things I'm responsible for. You see, I have a Naaman complex.

Naaman was angry because the prophet Elisha wouldn’t even come out to speak to him, and he was a great, important man. Too many times I get caught up in my own importance, which is truly laughable because I’m not great, nor important, to anybody except maybe my family. Just like Naaman, I tend to stand there and sputter and fume about why I need to do such menial tasks.

So Naaman raced away in his chariot. Thankfully he had wise servants who helped him see how silly he was being and the result was that he went to the Jordan River. Did he quit when he saw no results after going under six times? If he had, he would’ve died a leper. Did he understand why it had be seven times? Did he moan about seven? Did he try to bargain it down to five? The Bible just says he dipped himself seven times as he was instructed to. Like Naaman, I don’t need to know why, I just need to obey, without moaning or bargaining.

For Naaman, it came down to complete obedience. He had faith, why else would he have undertaken such a long journey? But faith without obedience would have left him a leper. I have faith, but if I don’t obey God my faith will grow cold.

For the Christian, the secret to our spiritual growth lies in obedience. That means being faithful in the multitude of little things because it’s through obeying in the mundane and menial things, that we learn faithfulness for the bigger things. If I won't do the simple things my husband has asked me to do, things that make perfect sense to me, will I do the things God asks me to do--things that make no sense to me?

Even though I may start like Naaman did, fuming and raging because things aren’t going as I expected and because I’ve been asked to do some things that I don't want to do, I'm going to make sure I end like Naaman did: faithfully obeying.

Naaman's account is found in 2 Kings 5:1-14.


  1. Peej -- anything but this! You just had to go and talk about THIS, didn't you? Ouch. So convicting. I will think of you now as I scrub the toilet from the men in the house who seem to miss! Why me? I know, why not me!But I don't wanna. Okay, but not today.

    Love you, Peej -- and hey, Peej? You missed a spot! Laury

  2. The walk of obedience is truly a walk of faith. I sometimes struggle in this area in my own life. One time I was dealing with unforgiveness in my heart against someone who had wronged me. Then I was reminded of Love, God's love and forgiveness for me although I have, through sin, wronged Him. Wow, it just over powered that unforgiveness I had in my heart and like a balloon on a windy day, it flew away!

    Obeying God by walking in Love and forgiveness was a special thing for me. Like Naaman, it took a while before I could see visible change but after the 7 plus try...God's Love overshadowed me!

  3. I'm glad you posted a link back to this article, or I might never have found it. It's convicting, because I have such difficulty not resenting menial and disgusting tasks. (When do boys learn to AIM?) I loved the way you pointed out that Naaman had faith, but that faith without obedience would have left him a leper. That's a great reminder.


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