A Naaman Complex

Recently, my husband asked me to do a few things, and I have to admit that my response wasn’t very 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 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. They said to him…

“…had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”

2 Kings 5:13 NAS

The result was that Naaman went to the Jordan River and obeyed the prophet Elisha.

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.

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.

Heavenly Father, I’m so like Naaman, fussing and fuming over things that are so silly. I want to grow and be healthy. Please help me follow his example, even when the way around me seems muddy and all I want to do is turn back. Help me to consistently choose obedience in all things, even…especially…in those areas that I might feel are beneath me or things that I don’t understand. When I’m tempted to quit because I don’t see results or my expectations aren’t met, remind me of Naaman and how his complete obedience brought healing. Thank You for being LORD of all. In Your Name I pray, amen. 

Patty Wysong

Patty Wysong, a home executive with over 20 years of experience, homeschools two of her five children, but don't let that fool you. She spends much of her time working on what God has placed in her hand: her keyboard. From the corner of her living room she writes inspirational fiction, devotionals, blog posts, and teaches online blogging workshops. You'll also find her drinking kool aid from her china cup, preparing for the ladies Bible study she leads, and helping at their church. Through her writing, Patty has found the extraordinary God in her ordinary life.

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  1. Wonderful prayer, bless you.

    • Denise, thank you for your faithfulness. You’re such an encouragement and I think of you often.



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