Acne. Is there anything more revolting to our culture than acne? When I think about the prom I went to (yes, I did go to one in my life) I think of one of the girls in our group complaining to us the amount of make-up require to hide that infamous pimple on her chin that screamed to everyone (or so she though I presume), “I AM UGLY!” Now I admit that this is extreme, but isn’t that the general attitude of our society? Imperfections, namely acne and skin blemish, carry immense weight on how we believe the world perceives us to be. There’s a plethora of medications and skin agents to alleviate such things.
Recently I have been reading through 2 Kings. Overall it has been refreshing to read of the prophets and kings of old and see how mightily God worked through their lives, obedience, and even sin (Here I refer more to 1-2 Samuel). But specifically this past week I read 2 Kings chapter 5. Naaman is a military officer for Syria, and his conquests are blessed of God as a vessel of delivering God’s judgement. In the first verse we read, “He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.” The word leprosy in fact means a wide variety of skin diseases in biblical times (see Leviticus 13). After reading Leviticus 13, it could be thought that acne could have been initially perceived to be the start of leprosy. I’m not saying it’s a fact, I’m just suggesting it’s plausible. Right? Even if not, indulge me this, as it caused me to continue to think what I know about leprosy.
1) Biblical leprosy.
I know that leprosy in biblical times was scorned. You were an outcast. You lived outside of the city with other lepers. You were considered by God and society to be unclean. Under no circumstances did you associate on any level with someone who was clean. In fact when walking down the street, you would need to yell, “Unclean, unclean” to announce your presence to others, so they would know to stay away, or else they risk exposing themselves to the disease, or at the least becoming unclean temporarily themselves.
2) Jesus healed lepers.
For instance in Luke chapter 5 Jesus heals a leper. Hear this account: “[T]here came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, ‘Lord if you will, you can make me clean.’ And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately the leprosy left him.”
3) Spiritual healer.
Luke 5:31 “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” Obviously Jesus is referring to the physical healing’s he did while on this earth. But also there must be an air of that statement that speaks to us today. Yes Jesus may heal me from physical infirmities or diseases, he also may not. But I know that Christ heals us spiritually, from our spiritual infirmities.
The thought that rocked my faith this week was how much I worry about my physical appearance, my physical “acne”, and how much thought and energy I put forth into making myself acceptable to society, to mere shell-gazers, to have approval from people. And then my heart was convicted, and I grieved that I spend so little time (even comparitively) to asking the Physician to heal my spiritual acne. Even as in Luke 5, Jesus is willing to heal my spiritual acne, but I am willing to come to him to ask for healing?
So I ask you, as well as myself, how are you daily humbling yourself and allowing our Savior to heal your spiritual acne?