As Naaman turned away in a rage he began to mumble. I have traveled for two days, had to go through all the diplomatic crap to get across the border, I even brought a million dollars in silver to pay, and what do I get? A command to go dip seven times in the muddy Jordan River? BULL CRAP! I won’t do it! Saddle up boys, let’s go home. This was a total waste of time.
In his country, Naaman was considered a man of valor. He was a mighty warrior who had made a lot of money in battle for his king. But Naaman had a problem, he had the disease of leprosy. When Naaman’s king got wind that there was a prophet in Israel who could cure leprosy. He sent Naamna with a letter to the king of Israel. The letter read something like this… Here is my servant Naaman, please cure him of his leprosy.
The king of Israel is distraught when he reads the letter. He knows this is impossible and thinks the letter is some kind of encoded message sent to start a war. The prophet Elisha hears of the king’s distress and tells him to calm down and send Naaman to him for instruction and healing.
So, here we are, Elisha the prophet didn’t even come outside his house to talk with Naaman, he sent one of his servants to give Naaman the prescription. Go wash in Jordan seven times and your leprosy will disappear. Long story short, as they were riding away, one of Naaman’s subordinates convinced him to follow the prophets simple instructions. He did it and was healed.
Leadership, like anything else, is based on fundamental principles. Here are a few we can learn from the story of Naaman.
1. Great leaders keep their emotions in check. Naaman went away mad, but calmed down quickly.
2. Great leaders can lead from any position. Naaman’s subordinate shows great leadership when he addresses his concerns.
3. Great leaders listen. Naaman showed real leadership when he listened to another point of view.
4. Great leaders remove ego from decisions and allow the best idea to win. Naaman showed why he was known as a man of valor when he changed his mind.
You cannot practice greatness.
You can practice fundamentals.
Get to work.
Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.2 Kings 5:12 KJV