2 Timothy 4:3-4
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables."
It's interesting to me when the Bible starts pointing fingers. Not necessarily at us, but at "them". "They", them, *their*, not you, me, or I, of course. It's like putting us on notice in a 'round about, passive aggressive type of way... I like to think of it as conviction.
Today's passage, my lovelies, is an ominous revelation into what has become our present society. Our dear Paul is mentoring Timothy in the ways of the Lord and on how to lead his people. Paul is commanding and encouraging Timothy to preach the word - to "convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching" 2 Timothy 4:2b - and not to dilute it or stray from it. Should be simple: unroll the scrolls or pull down the tablets from the bookshelf and tell the congregation what they say. Easy peasy, right?!
Well in a perfect, sinless, heavenly world it might be that easy (key word: might). But you and I both know that A&E (Adam & Eve) changed the game and put an end to sinless perfection. So here is Timothy in a town with a church that needs some guidance. And there is Paul, in jail for preaching the gospel of Christ and sticking to his convictions. If that were you and there was some dude or lady in prison calling you (collect more than likely...), telling you how to be a leader, how would you feel about it? Maybe a little sceptical about what they were saying? Maybe just a little.
The challenge that we face as believers, spiritual mentors, and individuals in today's society is that it becomes easy to boost up the people and ideas that conform to our way of life and way of thinking. If I am an over eater and indulge my cravings for food with reckless abandon, I am inclined to ascribe to a doctrine that allows for my indulgences. Likewise, if I am tired of my husband and am ready to peace-out, I am inclined to ascribe to a doctrine that allows for me to leave my spouse. We are prone to link ourselves to the ideologies that are in accordance with the way we want to live. We would rather support a lie that allows for us to live in comfort than adhere to God's rules that bring us closer to perfection. This is what Paul was getting at when he sent this message to Timothy.
"According to their own desires...they will turn their ears away from the truth..."
And just to be clear, Paul's "they" and "their" is talking about us, that's you and me. FYI.
As believers we have to be mindful to adhere to the gospel. Even if what we read in the Bible or hear in a biblical message convicts us about an area that needs improvement we must comply. Don't be "turned aside by fables" which is bible talk for "don't believe the hype" or "don't fall for the lie". The devil is crafty and he will plant seeds of disobedience and rebellion in your heart that will cause your mind to regard sin as acceptable. Sin is unavoidable - but it is also not to be touted as an acceptable way of life. The bar has been set so low for levels of acceptable behavior, attire, and speech that it is hard to follow Godly guidance instead of the ungodly. Spiritually discern and analyze with scripture any leader, mentor, or general guidance you receive. God has given us a measuring stick - The Bible! Use it as your baseline and you will gain God's perspective and not the world's.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." NKJV
Stay Fly Girls! And Happy New Year ;-)