“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 NKJV)
As the early church grew and developed, stories diverged from the truth, often to make things sound better for the speaker. The message of commitment and responsibility might have been de-emphasized because it was easy to get people to follow, not so easy to get them to become disciples. And people who might have been touched by the gospel message began to find variations that made life easier. They began to think of having just enough Jesus to make them feel good, but not enough to spur them to action to minister to others and sacrifice, if necessary, to show the love of God.
As a society, we’re becoming polarized into an “us vs. them” mentality. “They” are the bad guys; “they” are evil. Rather than listen to “them” we do all that we can to shut “them” down. On the other hand, if someone agrees with us, we know that they must be telling the truth and we don’t even need to check the facts. And it spills into our religious discussions as well. “Jesus wants you to be rich” is a much more popular teaching than “Go, sell all that you have and give to the poor.” “God helps those who help themselves” is much more popular than “caring for orphans and widows in their distress.” “Do your own thing” beats “keep yourself unstained from the world.” We gather around those teachers that make us feel good about our wrong beliefs and shun hearing the truth from God’s word. As Paul continued his message to Timothy, he reminded him to stay true to the faith and continue doing the work that God called him to do. May we stay true to the faith God has called us to and continue in the work that God has called us to do.
Lord, the road You’ve called me to follow isn’t an easy one, but it’s the right one. Help me tay true to Your guidance and avoid the trap of searching for easier ways to live this life.