Lifeline of Accountability Heals and Afflicts

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Gathering 

A wound or affliction doesn’t have to be a disease. What kind of wound or affliction do you think you might have?

  1. I have no idea what my wound or affliction might be.
  2. I feel wounded but have no clue where it comes from.
  3. The wound I have been carrying around for years is…
  4. I will share my wound(s) with the group when I’m ready.
  5. Other _______.

 

Backstory

Naaman was a great warrior of Aram (modern-day Syria). He was respected and successful except for one thing: He had leprosy. In our day, leprosy is easy to cure, but back then it was a life sentence. From all accounts, Naaman managed to succeed in life despite this affliction. The healing of Naaman, a pagan who lived outside Israel, was a shock to the systemic belief of Israelites who thought God was exclusively theirs. Jesus would later use this story to underscore God’s transformative grace in freedom and healing for one and all (Luke 4:27-29).

 

God’s Story

Read aloud the story of Naaman getting healed of leprosy in 2 Kings 5:1-27.

 

Finding My Story in God’s Story 

Who do you most identify with in this story?

  1. Naaman—hoping that my wealth will buy good health.
  2. The lowly servant girl—I tell others where to find help and hope.
  3. The frustrated Israelite king—people keep asking me to fix things I can’t.
  4. Elisha the prophet—serving pro bono (free) while holding others accountable.
  5. Gehazi—always looking for freebies with no accountability.
  6. Other _______.

 

When the time came to be healed, Naaman almost blew it. How much do you identify with him? 

  1. I expect things to go a certain way and get upset when they don’t. 
  2. I grow impatient and get angry when things don’t happen on my timetable.
  3. I don’t take the time and turn to helpful resources for healing.
  4. I’d sooner go through government channels than lowly girls or religious types.
  5. I’m not like Naaman at all.
  6. Other _______.

 

What strategic means did God use to bring about the healing of Naaman’s leprosy?

  1. A slave girl remembered her roots in faith, told others.
  2. Baptism in the Jordan is preferable to washing in other rivers.
  3. A king’s ransom cannot buy God’s favor; obedience in little things is what counts.
  4. Willingness to look foolish, dunking 7X, did the trick.
  5. Humbling oneself before God was tough, but necessary, for healing.
  6. Other _______.

 

Why do you suppose the king of Israel declined to help Naaman?

  1. Naaman’s visit from “out of the blue” felt like a trap. 
  2. Better leave such matters to religious people, like a prophet or priest.
  3. Better play it safe, test the seeker, to see if he’s legit.
  4. Even the “divine right of kings” has its limits; he was not God.
  5. Other _______.

 

What do you imagine was going through Gehazi’s mind as he chased down Naaman’s entourage to collect?

  1. What Elisha doesn’t know won’t hurt him, no harm no foul.
  2. Easier to get forgiveness afterward than permission ahead of time.
  3. Elijah is letting Naaman get off cheap, he should pay something.
  4. Everyone got what they needed, it’s a win-win-win situation.
  5. Other _______.

 

Consider the things you have accomplished in life. Did they happen despite—or because of—the wound(s) or affliction(s) you carry? Explain.

  1. Having known only a healthy mind, body and spirit makes it hard to empathize.
  2. My wounds needed cleansing, so I went all in. 
  3. My wound(s) turned out to be a blessing, as only then was I able to …
  4. God used my wound(s) to humble me and get me to depend on him more.
  5. Other _______.

 

Our Story 

Gehazi, Naaman, and the King of Israel each held assumptions about the situations they found themselves in—assumptions that turned out not to be the entire picture. We also get blinded to possibilities by faulty expectations, which we often use to excuse ourselves and blame others, even God.  In this regard, choose to answer 1 or 2.

  1. Share with the group: When did God answer a specific request in a way that was “10 times” better than anything you could have dreamed up?
  2. How can your group hold you accountable to grab lifelines that are extended to you?

 

Pray about those next steps and lifelines identified in question #9.

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