Updated: Sep 16, 2022
By Madalyn Fisher
Gehazi ran after the distant band of soldiers. He raced to catch the man named Naaman whom his master had just healed from leprosy. Gehazi just couldn’t let Naaman go with all those treasures. What was his master Elisha thinking? Why pass up free money? When Gehazi reached Naaman, a false story spilled from his lips: “My master has sent me, saying, ‘Indeed, just now two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from the mountains of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of garments’ ” (2 Kings 5:22).
Gehazi’s lie cost him his life. When his master confronted him, Gehazi had two options: to confess or lie again. Instead of answering the query honestly, he slyly stated, “I didn’t go anywhere” (2 Kings 5:25). He held onto the hope of dodging discipline and escaping with the bounty. Elisha’s solemn judgment immediately inflicted punishment on greedy Gehazi: “‘The leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.’ And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow” (2 Kings 5:27).
Lying gives a false sense of security by appearing to smooth over the rough spots in a situation you don’t want to face. The fear of punishment kept Gehazi from confessing his sin. He made a desperate attempt to cover up his tracks, but the loathsome disease of leprosy shouted the truth down through the generations.
Life is full of situations that need honest attention. Honesty takes courage and deliberate action. Fear often compels us to leave the cold, hard truth and turn to what we wish was reality. The dread of punishment causes us to resort to dishonest measures. Love is the only thing that can cast out this fear. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love” (1 John 4:18). God’s love can work a marvelous change in our lives. Without His love, each of us would resort to lazy, comfortable deception.