“Answer Shopping”

2 Timothy 4:3

“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,”

Most of my current job is managing federal money – federal money with lots of strings attached. As our district spends and allocates funds to individual schools, I get to help principals spend within these guidelines. When guidelines don’t align with their ideas, they can get creative, and some begin to answer shop among my team members.

We’ve all done it. As kids, when we asked mom for something and got a ‘no’ we might go to dad hoping for a different answer. It’s human nature to want our way, to ignore or refuse the answer when we don’t like it.

Read this verse again. People say they want truth, but what they really want is their truth. They want their way. It’s obvious throughout our culture, just spend a few minutes scrolling through social media or watching the news.

In the verse right before this one, Paul encourages Timothy to keep sharing the gospel and to encourage with great patience and teaching. How can we do this? How can we have patience with those who can’t see the truth? Those who insist on answer shopping until they find a teacher who will affirm their truth.

We do it by first asking God to reveal truth to us. Ask Him to reveal any area of your life where you are choosing your way, clinging to your rights, and feel the need to be right. Chances are, that’s an area where a lie has crept in and become your truth. Jesus showed love to those in sin. He showed patience, and spoke truth. He knew the truth. He IS truth. He didn’t argue. He didn’t cling to His rights. He poured Himself out.

While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following:

  • Do you ever find yourself answer shopping if you don’t at initially get your way? 
  • Take some time in prayer and allow God to show those areas. 
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you? 
Explain – what does the passage mean? 
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today? 
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
April Price
Grants Specialist and LifeGroup co-leader

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