There’s a passage in the Apostle Paul’s letter to his friend, Timothy, where he says this:
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather round them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
And I think that that’s a pretty true-to-life comment. We like to hear easy stuff, comfortable stuff, doctrine (teachings) that suit what we want to hear. But this week, I’ve been thinking about something that’s kinda similar to this. See, I am becoming increasingly aware of a habit I have. And as I become more aware of it, I recognise that it’s something I really need to tackle.
The passage above is talking specifically about doctrine and what we believe. We all have a tendency to gather people around us who say what we want to hear, and thus drown out what we don’t want to hear. But I have a habit of selecting things to do and watch and listen to that will drown out everything else, not just doctrine.
Facebook and Twitter feed this nasty habit. So I watch pointless rubbish. Or even highly entertaining and informative stuff. But it’s not with a view to doing anything but drowning out other stuff. It’s a highly effective way of avoiding things of value that are absolutely crying out for my attention. And I’m not just talking about the hoovering, either. A relationship that needs strengthening can be postponed with a quick bit of kissing kittens on youtube. A prayer need that is pressing can be put on hold for a little foray into the world of the best/worst/slowest/funniest penalty kicks ever taken. The chance to ping someone a little message of encouragement can give way to watching some funny if rather pointless series of Australian comedian sketches. And the list goes on. My itching ears would rather hear the stuff that demands nothing of me. My itching eyes (yes, I know, that’s rather a gross concept) would rather see stuff that amuses/entertains me than stuff that challenges me. I’m taking the ostrich’s approach, but instead of burying my head in the sand, I bury it in my laptop.
It’s like I’m screwing my eyes shut to the important things, putting my fingers in my ears and shouting, “la la la la la la la la la” just to drown out the stuff that makes me uncomfortable.
Is it just me?
Can anyone out there help?