Monday, April 9, 2012

Being the Bearer of Bad News

 Here is some food for thought…

There are times in our lives that we simply have to accept the inevitable. Sometimes our plans do not line up with God’s, and His will is going to win out. We simply need to learn to gracefully bow out of the competition before we get too hurt.

Simply put, there are some pills we simply must take.

Now consider this…

There are times in our lives that we are used by God to deliver the inevitable to that person, who must eventually accept reality. In other words, sometimes we must be that agent who delivers what the recipient will consider bad news.

Simply put, there are some pills we simply must administer.

Further consider this…

While God calls persons in positions of great responsibility and power to administer His will, often times, we have the freedom to decide how we will give the news, and, we must remember, the end does not always justify the means. In other words, we know what the right decision is, but we mustn’t think that we have the right then to dole it out as we please.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but:

As the administrator of the pill, we often decide whether or not we give it as an oral capsule or a suppository.

We can leave a person with his or her dignity by asking them to swallow the news down in a timely fashion, or we can just force it upon them in an inconsiderate manner, for lack of a nicer way of putting it.

Often times, we hate being the bearer of bad new. Other times, we rather relish the opportunity. As a Kingdom people, Christians that must inform another about a decision that he or she will find unsavory must allow grace to abound. This is not just a suggestion for the person who is more than ready to deliver the news to the other who simply “deserves” the news, but to all in positions of authority. Sometimes, we simply neglect to consider the alternatives, and how best the medicine might be administered, and instead we protect our own hearts over the one whose heart will really break when the news is given.

It is like the doctor that hates telling family members when they have lost a loved one. He simply does not think he can bear the responsibility, so he simply and matter-of-factly blurts out the news and walks away. Yes, it might be hard for him, but it pales in comparison to the heartbreak of the recipients, and his news, although necessary to deliver, is given in such a way that its delivery only adds to the pain.  He should be more willing to hurt for the sake of others, sharing in the burden of bad news by being there for the bereaved.  

Sometimes the pill is simply hard to swallow, no matter how much we care for that person to which we must give the news. However, we have an obligation as people of the community of grace, to be as gracious as possible. We must not be so caught up in our own concerns that we forget to protect the heart of the other.

Never should we, wittingly or unwittingly, tell them to “Shove it.” If you catch my drift…