Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Helping Lex Luthor Send His Dad to Prison

Suggested Reading: 2 Kings 5:14-27 (or read the whole story: 2 Kings 5)

In the television series Smallville, before Lex Luthor became a full-fledged villain, he tried to send his dad to prison for murder. Clark Kent had witnessed some things that would help convict the elder Luthor but Lex was worried he would not appear to testify because Lex and Clark had gotten into a fight. When Clark showed up to testify, Lex tried to thank him but Clark rebuffed his gratitude saying, "I didn't do this for you." The implication was clear: Clark testified because putting Lionel Luthor in jail for murder was the right thing to do, not because Lex deserved his help.

In 2 Kings 5, the prophet Elisha helped to heal an Aramean soldier named Naaman. The soldier was immensely grateful and wanted to give Elisha a gift but the prophet refused to accept anything. As Naaman and his entourage left, Elisha's servant Gehazi watched them go without understanding the exchange. Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, the man of God, said to himself, “My master should not have let this Aramean get away without accepting any of his gifts. As surely as the Lord lives, I will chase after him and get something from him" (2 Kings 5:20, NLT). While Elisha was concerned with what accepting the gifts would say about God and his miracles, Gehazi was concerned about whether Naaman deserved to be healed without paying (and with getting something for himself).  The focus of each man was different and Gehazi simply didn't understand Elisha's mindset.

Quite often, we simply don't understand why in the world people do what they do. Why does he let her get away with that? Why doesn't she speak up for herself? Why won't he call her on her crap? Why won't she leave him? Every day we encounter people who act in ways that make no sense to us. Sometimes we are Elisha wondering rightfully how Gehazi could be so selfish but sometimes we are Gehazi, so wrapped up in our own desires and so focused on the wrong things that we miss motivations that should be obvious. Lex should have known Clark would show up because it was the right thing to do. And Gehazi should have known Elisha would never accept a gift for performing a miracle of God.

When we just don't get why people are acting the way they are, there is probably an angle we haven't considered. Before we go off about how unreasonable or unrealistic someone is, we should first consider our own mindset to make sure we're not acting like a Gehazi.

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