Tickling or Teaching

1 I solemnly charge you … 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths (2 Timothy 4).

Everyone likes to hear a good story, especially when it makes them feel good—and even more so when it makes them feel good about themselves, instead of pointing out their sins. And because most folks would rather have “their ears tickled” with fluffy stories than their consciences pricked with biblical doctrine, in order to ensure an always feel good experience in church, they might “accumulate for themselves teachers” who tickle rather than teach.

Yet, for Timothy or any other preacher today, preaching should not be filled with stories and “myths,” rather, they are to be filled with “reproofs, rebukes, and exhortations.” Hmm. I know, this sounds awfully negative in a sensitive world consumed with positive thinking and political correctness, where the worst thing anyone can do is cause offense.

Lord, remind us This Day how much we have all offended You and how we even the best of us continue to offend you through our sinful attitudes, choices, and desires. Help us to choose teaching over tickling. Amen.