The number of you who will remember this will be quite limited. Our teacher would check to see if you brushed your teeth this morning; she also checked your ears to see if the wash-cloth had made a visit of recent. Let’s face it; it was a different time in History. Things were different, to say the least.
Some years back while reading 2 Timothy 4, I found the phrase: “they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth”. You are right; I had a “springboard” for a sermon.
As a preacher, I have the privilege of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I try to be sure that my congregation gets something to chew on from each sermon. Of this I was confident; there would not be a group of “sleepers” in the congregation that morning. My concern was that “possibly”, there might be some who would prefer to have their “ears tickled” or “turn away their ears from the truth”.
It is a struggle in every congregation not to have some in the category mentioned! Some come for entertainment; some for the music; some come out of habit or because they have not missed a Sunday in 20 or more years.
I was tempted to have the ushers give out Q-tips with the bulletins. However, I knew a few of the “prudish” individuals would be offended, even though I would have succeeded in placing it in the brain until death.
The Apostle had just shared with Timothy that he should “preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” The pastor does not have the easiest job; and though some of those things might be handled “gingerly”, those who wear their feelings on their sleeves become offended, and fail to realize that it is part of our responsibility.
Just keep those ears open, cleaned and receptive to Scriptural instruction!