>Man, oh man…SCOTTY SMITH nailed me with this one! Painful, but productive if I let it sink in by reading, re reading, and heeding:
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. 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. 2 Tim. 4:2-3
Dear Lord Jesus, many times when I read this Scripture, I immediately think of certain characters on TV whose perversions of the gospel raise my ire and dander like nothing else. In my heart, I can become a serial killer of certain “televangelists” quicker than I can swat a mosquito. I confess this as sin, Jesus. I’m not boasting about or justifying my attitude.
But today, I’m meditating on the portion of the Word looking in the mirror, not at the TV. What do I do when my ears get itchy—when when my demand for pleasure, relief, or getting my way is stronger than my commitment to your glory? What do I do when the Scriptures say one thing and yet my wandering, bored, divided, selfish heart yearns for something else?
Jesus, I know the people to call who will tell me what I WANT to hear—my “co-dependent” friends who are more afraid of disappointing me than they are committed to speaking the truth in love. I know what authors to read… what “podcasts” to listen to… what blogs to visit… when I want a “second opinion”—that is, when I want to suit my own desires rather than serve the purposes of God. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.”
Jesus, continue to prepare me for in season and out-of-season living. Deepen my love for and submission to the Word. I ask you to correct, rebuke and encourage me with the gospel every single day. Show me yourself in every portion of the Bible, for that’s where the soundest doctrine will be found.
Lastly, Jesus, help me be a better friend to my friends. I don’t want to be one of the very first people they call when they simply want to hear what they want to hear. I don’t want to be an ear-scratching friend, but a good friend—a gospel-friend. So very Amen, I pray, in your holy and loving name.