“As God lives,” Elisha replied, “the God whom I serve, I’ll take nothing from you.” Naaman tried his best to get him to take something, but he wouldn’t do it.” 2 Kings 5:16
Naaman was a general under King Araman and a man of high esteem. However, he had the dreaded skin disease, leprosy. He heard of the prophet, Elisha, who had performed miracles and gathered silver, gold, and fancy robes and went to be healed. When his skin cleared up, he tried to pay Elisha for healing him, but Elisha refused to take the gifts from Naaman, because he was performing God’s work. Elisha’s servant, thought Elisha was unwise for refusing payment and schemed to receive a portion of it. Elisha, who had been with him in “spirit,” challenged him for his greed. Gihazi and his family were punished by becoming lepers.
We see this kind of greed every day. People want something for nothing. As a kid, money was tight. I babysat, cleaned houses, shoveled sidewalks, walked beans, picked strawberries, and anything else to make a dollar or so. It would have been easy to take a handout from someone, but my conscience wouldn’t allow me to accept more than I deserved. When overpaid by a miscalculation of the hours I babysat, I’d give back the over-payment. Having an extra thirty-five cents to buy a ticket to a movie and a box of popcorn wouldn’t have felt good in my belly.
Help us, Lord, to do what is right all the times. Amen.