Shhhh….Did you hear that?

The payoff of listening well
3 min read

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.

Proverbs 1:5

One of the disciplines of people who are vibrant and growing in character is that they make it a point to listen to others, especially those who are walking with God. Even if they are older, experienced, and succesful, they know when to stop talking and when to listen.

There’s a story in the Bible about a succesful military leader by the name of Naaman. He was from Syria to the east of Israel, beyond the Jordan River. Because of Naaman’s elite skills, he had led his army to repeated victories over neighboring countries.

Yet, Naaman lived with a chronic health condition – leprosy. Apparently the symptoms of the disease were not yet so severe to keep Naaman from functioning at a high level, but like most diseases, it was bound to get worse with time.

It happened that there was a young lady in Naaman’s service who was from Israel. She knew about a prophet by the name of Elisha who had reportedly healed people. She recommended to Naaman’s wife that her husband go see the prophet. Maybe Elisha could heal him, too? Anxious to be cured and willing to try anything, Naaman was soon at Elisha’s front door.

As it turned out, Elisha was glad to help. However, his protocol for healing wasn’t what Naaman was expecting. Instead of a wave of his hand and a prayer, Elisha told Naaman,

Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean” (2 Kings 5:10).

Naaman wasn’t having it. He was annoyed that Elisha would put him out that way, making him travel 30 miles or so to the Jordan when he could just heal him on the spot.

Naaman walked away angry, just as sick as when he first arrived.

But thankfully, Naaman had some good people in his life who urged him to listen to Elisha. They put some friendly pressure on him and helped him see the opportunity in front of him. Why wouldn’t he do what Elisha was saying if it meant being healed?

Finally, Naaman did listen and followed Elisha’s instructions. And just as he hoped, his leprosy was gone. But he wasn’t just healed physically; he was healed spiritually. Not only was skin like new, so was his heart. The life-changing experience caused Naaman to believe and become a worshiper of Elisha’s God.

Naaman had some good people in his life who urged him to listen…

This story reminds us of the value of receiving instruction, especially from those who care enough to shoot straight with us. It prompts us to ask ourselves some questions: Who has God placed around me to give me direction and counsel? How do I respond to them? Do I listen, or do I arrogantly shake off what they have to say, as if I know better? Could it be that God is speaking to me through them?

May we glean from Naaman’s story the valuable lesson of listening well. Make it a point today to listen to the voices of truth in your life.

Shhh…did you hear that?

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

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