Our verse for today comes from 2 Timothy 4:3, ” For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. “
How would you like it if the reason you were hired for your current job was because the company didn’t want you? What if you asked the owners what made you stand out above all the other applicants, and they answered that it was because you were exactly what they didn’t want? Besides doing wonders for your self-confidence, it would certainly put a different spin on your task at hand, wouldn’t it? Nothing you did regarding that company or its employees could be accomplished without the words of the owners ringing in your ears. Your primary objective would be to be what they didn’t like and do what they didn’t appreciate. It’s hard to imagine staying with that job for very long, isn’t it? I guess that’s why Paul was so explicit and forceful in his words to Timothy regarding the need for him to preach the word. He urged him before God and Jesus Christ, referenced the judgment and His eternal kingdom, and spoke of future longsuffering and afflictions. The time ahead certainly was not going to be a cakewalk for Timothy. He was called to preach God’s word, and it was going to be exactly what his listeners were not going to want to hear. His very qualifications rested on the fact that he would tell them only what their itching ears refused to believe.
But that is what they needed to hear. For how could they realize that they were not meant to stumble around bumping into one another unless someone told them that they were blind? Surely Paul’s words through the Spirit kept ringing in Timothy’s ears. If you knew your kids were going to rebel, wouldn’t you fight it with every fiber of your being in the hopes that they would be restored as quickly as possible? No loving parent would throw their hands up and concede to the awful, inevitable outcome. Likewise, we must say what is right and do what is right, for there is no end to His grace. Your sharing of the word may be the instant when that person’s ears finally stop itching.
As we seek Him today, ask God for the strength and courage to share His word when the temptation is to scratch your listener’s itching ears. Let His promises and assurances keep ringing in your ears as you rely on Him.