Through the years, when I have heard sermons about how we want our “ears tickled” I didn’t feel it applied to me. I interpreted it as people who don’t want to hear the truth and I want to hear the truth.
But in A. W. Tozer’s “Attributes of God”, he said this about a deeply spiritual song called, Te Deum: “We’ve forgotten it now because we are not spiritually capable of understanding it. We want to hear what will tickle our ears. ‘Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him?’ Job 26:14”
In the margin, next to the part that says, “We want to hear what will tickle our ears” I have written a note: “Oh dear…it’s true! I want to hear sermons preached in a style that fits my personality…my exhaustion level on any given day. Truth…yes…but how complacent have I become about Holy God?
We start our kids on cartoons that help them “understand” about God. What happened to the days when we started them out with Pilgrim’s Progress in order that they might absorb a picture of the true character of Holy God?
We start with the bar ever so low…they end their growing up years spiritually low (immature…often not hungry) and we wonder why.
For ourselves, we expect to be somewhat entertained from the pulpit. We don’t think we do…but what is our conversation as we walk away from Sunday service? Is it about the pastor’s presentation or Holy God?
What are our evening hours spent doing when we are home? Are we crashing with a book of substance or have we become accustomed to doing something “mindless” almost every night because we are exhausted and claim that right?
Have we trained ourselves to believe that reading deeper things about God will only exhaust us more? “We can’t think when we are tired”…so we let the television or the apps/games do the thinking for us, instead of developing our endurance.
We spend time looking at our faux friends, as they display their faux lives on FB and we get discouraged because our lives are not nearly as fun or charming as what is being portrayed in front of us.
We choose to torture ourselves with discontentment based on lies. Not that people on FB are necessarily lying to us. They are simply posting their happy moments. It is half the story. It is less than half the picture.
So…we teach our children about God through (sometimes less than honoring) cartoons and wonder why they don’t revere God and those He has created, including themselves. We model that the Word of God is not worthy of our cherished “down time”. Perhaps we choose Christian books that are more about us than they are about our God. We demonstrate that we value FB (or some other form of relaxation) more than time in the presence of Almighty God, because let’s face it…we do!
No matter your age or stage, you are developing or stunting your view of The Truth. We are being watched and at some point (often unconsciously) emulated. We are changing the generations.
Are we guilty of wanting our ears tickled? Are we teaching our kids to follow suit? Maybe not as much as “the guy next door”…but how much damage are we doing? How much have we done? How much reexamination and “rebehaving” is called for in order to know The Truth and fulfill our calling?
2 Timothy 4:2-5 (ESV) 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 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, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.