“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.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
What does it mean to have your “Ears Tickled”? Generally it refers to being told something specifically with the intent of it being pleasing to the listeners .. and more to the point, it’s generally, at least in part, an untruth or a exaggeration.
The apostle Paul wrote a warning for the church: “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”
The Greek word translated “itching” literally means “to itch, rub, scratch, or tickle.” To want one’s ears “tickled” is to desire massages rather than messages—sermons that charm rather than challenge, entertain rather than edify, and please rather than preach. The people Paul warns about will have, as one commentator put it, “ears which have to be continually titillated with novelties.”
Have you ever had someone tickel your ears? We all love to have words given to us that make us feel good. More than likely, most of us desire to hear words that only bring positive reinforcement rather than correction or warning. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to want to be encouraged, but when we reject difficult truth in exchange for “nice sounding” mistruth, then there’s a huge problem.
Throughout the Bible we see messages of warning and also messages of hope. The people of Israel were, on more than one occasion, warned about their sin while also being promised many blessings. The Gospel, itself, involves hard truth and good news. God clearly states that we are sinners who deserve to be punished. This is not “fun” to hear, but it must be considered in order to understand the Gospel. If we reject the reality of our sin, we lie to ourselves and the death and resurrection of Jesus lose their power and meaning. In order for God to change our hearts and lives, we must submit to the hard Truths as well as the glorious promises found in the Bible.
“Biblical Warning: Sugar coated preaching is dangerous to your soul.”
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the Bible. Help me not to gloss over the hard Truths of Scripture, but to understand them. Give me wisdom and discernment to grow from both encouragement and correction as I follow You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Scriptural Seeds Ministries