The Influence of a Slave

By A. A. Meeks, Sr.

Note: It is suggested that the reader read the entire chapter of 2 Kings 5. This article and two or three later articles will be based on that chapter.

            In 2 Kings 5 there is the story of a man named Naaman. Naaman was a Syrian, the commander of the king’s army. He was a man of valor and was great and honorable in the king’s eyes. But he was a leper. Leprosy was a disease for which there was no cure in those days. His usefulness to his king was about over.

            Naaman’s wife had a Hebrew slave — a young girl who had been captured in Israel and brought to Syria where she served her mistress. This young lady knew about Naaman’s condition, and she suggested that if her master were in Samaria, the prophet there could heal him. Naaman heard about her suggestion, he believed the slave, and he got permission from the king to go to Samaria to see the prophet.

            We know very little about this slave girl. We do not know how long she had been a member of Naaman’s household. We do know that her influence was such that when she made a suggestion, it was considered. Many people would have paid no attention to a slave — especially one who was both young and female. But her master had enough confidence in her that he trusted her word.

            Are you a Christian? If you are, you have some influence over the people with whom you associate — your family, your friends, and the people with whom you work. Do you have good influence which will cause people to trust your word?

            The kind of influence you have with other people is determined by how you live. If you are honest, keep your word, take nothing that does not belong to you, and are helpful to the people around you, your influence will be good. If you lie, steal, break your word and are selfish, your influence will be bad.

            Jesus taught some lessons about influence. In Matthew 5:13 He said, “You are the salt of the earth….” Salt has a taste (an influence). Food cooked without salt can be detected immediately. Every Christian has some influence also. Your life should be such that you are recognized as a Christian.

            Jesus further said, “...but if the salt loses its flavor [influence] how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” The Christian who has lost his influence is of no value to the Lord — until he repents and begins living righteously.

            Is your influence as good as the slave’s? Make it such that the Lord will be pleased with you, and His name glorified by your life.