Christmas time is upon us again, and we’re hearing about “the joy Christmas” and “Tiding of good news”. It makes your heart merry when you are around people full of joy that are speaking about the good news of God’s love, etc.
But since I was a child I noticed that some folks seemed to take “pleasure” in being the ones that told the “bad news”. It almost seems that some people find “joy” in sharing bad news. I had an aunt that was always the first to call my mom when a relative died, or someone was having trouble or in reference to some family scandal. She was quickly the first to give bad tidings, but for the life of me I can’t think of a single time she called my mom to give her good news.
There seems to some hidden delight, at least with some of us, to say things like, “Well …not to burst your bubble, but the truth is..”, or ”I hate to rain on your parade, but….”. In fact busting bubbles and raining on parades, a la “Mr. Grinch”, satisfies some folks’ need to contribute to the conversation.
I recall my first year at college “setting a friend straight” about some “bad” things. The friend’s was being talked about negatively when he left a room or a class. He was oblivious to this and thought a bit more highly of himself than I thought he should have. So, being a close friend, I told him the truth—and it was the truth—but it was not well received and from that day forward I became his enemy. What I told him did him no good and actually made matters worse. I should have kept my big mouth shut, but something within me wanted to knock him down a notch or two. My foolish and immature ego threw a wrench into our relationship and friendship. I have not seen him for decades, but I would not be surprised if he still had very little use for me.
When tempted to “bring tidings of bad news” I am trying think more about three questions:
1- Is the news really needed and helpful?
2- Do I need to be the bearer of the bad news?
3- Where is my heart toward the recipient? I.e. is love the motivating factor for me saying bad or sad things?
As it is, there are some folks I rather hide from because I know that they always come bringing bad news. But perhaps I should determine to thank them and then offer them some encouraging, kind and good news. The good news far outshine the bad news—-that’s the gospel. Jesus came here because God wanted Him to be the bearer of the incredible good news that God loves us, desires to have us join Him in His home, and He has established a place for us where He will call us His own…He will wipe every tear from our eyes…He will shield our ears from ever hearing any bad news again. Marantha…..
Proverbs 25:25 “Like cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a distant land.”