Wednesday, June 22nd
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, and will turn away from listening to the truth. 2 Timothy 4:3,4
At first glance at this passage I am tempted to look outward. It would be easy here for me to criticize those pagans who massage their own egos, deny truth and only feed their own passions. I could write about how the world has gone mad with transgender bathrooms, or I could attack the defects of Caitlyn Jenner’s flesh nature.
In my personal walk with God however, I am not working on the defects of others. In my prayer and meditation each morning, I spend very little time worrying about Caitlyn Jenner.
When I read this passage, I have to be introspective and ask myself, How do I massage and insulate my own ego? What do I need to hear that I don’t want to hear? What does God want me to work on? What are my persistent defects?
We all have our own flesh nature (human nature) defects. Whether we struggle with pride, greed, anger, selfishness, self-image, self-control, lust, pornography, drugs or alcohol, we all have some defect that distracts us from God and causes destruction. Some of us are doing well in the struggle and some of us are drowning in it. As long as we are in this body, we will have a flesh nature that as sure as gravity, wants to drag us down. So when we read this passage, the challenge is to not to indulge our itching ears by criticizing others, but rather to be introspective and ask God to tell us what we don’t want to hear.
If I am going to be the person I want to be, the person God wants me to be, I will everyday, work on my own destructive defects and follow God. The fact that I will always have some defect to work on can be depressing. We all long for the time when life is perfect and the struggle is over. I have learned however, that like Paul, it is my weakness that drives me to God. So while I don’t love my defects, I am thankful that I can see my need for God. Those who do not need God will not pursue God.