This passage meant something entirely different for me when I was in my 20s that today:
2 Timothy 4:3–4 (NLT)
3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
I read that in my early 20s and thought, “Oh, those poor liberal Christians. So deceived. Not anchored in the Word. They just let anything come to them and they only want to hear what they want to hear.”
If I would have listened closely in those days, I would have heard my 50-something self yelling back: “HA!”
We ALL run into this problem. The most serious Jesus follower will run into this problem.
Paul keeps going with Timothy: “But YOU… keep your head in all situations, enduring hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all duties of your ministry.”
We are to keep our heads when everyone around us is losing theirs. This is the difficult walk of Kingdom life. My 20-something self didn’t understand deception. My 50-something something is slowly learning. And I find this part of my life has a critical task: just keep my head on!