Friday, 9 December 2011

Have I got itchy ears?

One of 2 Timothy's most memorable phrases is this: "Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."

It is a damning indictment of people who will turn from sound doctrine which teaches, rebukes, corrects and trains to false teaching which simply confirms them in their beliefs and their lifestyle - which if you read the rest of 2 Timothy is clearly simply that of society around them.

But I wonder if there is another application, many of us do not find false teaching attractive, in fact we have twitchy heresy antennas.  However, what about listening to the advice of others, do we listen to the advice of those who do not say what we want to hear searching instead for someone who will say what our ears want to hear because it agrees with our own desires.

For example - the young mum who finds church a bit of rush on Sunday who listens not to the two or three people who encourage her to come but to the one person who says well just make toddler group your church until the children are older.  Or the person who is attracted to someone who does not share their faith who ignore the words of those who teach them what the bible says searching for someone who says what they want to hear.

They are obvious examples and ones which I think we would readily spot in others.  But what is it for you and for me?  Do I keep on searching until I find someone who will agree with me that what I want is right?  I think we need to learn to be self aware - what is it I want, what do I want others to say, what will I do with dissenting voices?  It may help us spot if we are looking for someone to just say what we want rather than genuinely searching for godly wisdom.

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