When You Get Bad News

No one gets a pass on receiving bad news.  And recently, I heard some stuff that was discouraging – the opposite of what I’d been asking from God & I was unhappy with opposite outcome of my prayers.  I think it’s pointless to hide my emotions from God or pretend that everything is ok when it’s not.  At the same time, the world doesn’t stop just because we get some bad news.  So here are a few suggestions that could be helpful:

  • Tell God how you feel & what you’re thinking.  Reading Psalms & Job give some really  insightful thoughts & expression to emotions that are raw & real.
  • Perspective adjustments:  sometimes it’s helpful to look at a broader picture than just the bad news
  • Consider the cause:  is it possible that the bad news is a consequence of something you did?  If so, maybe it would be helpful to make some course corrections / different decisions.
  • Choose to trust God:  It always encourages me to remember that God uses all things for the the good to those who love Him & stay aligned with God’s purposes

Feel free to pass this along to any friends / family who might be struggling with getting some bad news

how to handle bad news

 Seems like you can always find bad news & sometimes, it seems like bad news is determined to you.  Whether you look on a nat’l or int’l scale or down to our individual lives, there can always be bad news.  But the real issue isn’t always what the bad news is, but maybe moreso how we handle bad news.

When I was growing up, my dad could have a major melt down with a small piece of bad news, but if there was a MAJOR piece of bad news, he was a rock – stable, solid & steady.  So here are some ideas & thoughts on handling bad news:

  • pause & take a deep breath – take some moments to assess the bad news & evaluate it with some perspective:  is this momentary bad news? does this have a permanent effect? in light of the big picture & eternity what does this news mean?  what is my responsibility in this news?
  • don’t let your mouth loose without some “paused” reflection – this helps us to avoid the foot in mouth syndrome
  • find a safe place to let your hair down / vent – in your car, with some exercise, taking a walk, riding a bike, etc
  • pray – when you vent, don’t leave God out of the picture.  If you’re mad at Him, don’t shut Him out.  The main person this hurts is you.
  • be mindful of any destructive escapes or habits you might turn to – these would include:  addictions, co-dependencies, food (dysfunctional behaviors), entertainment escapes (sports, movies, gaming, etc) & others
  • if you’ve received some MAJOR bad news, try not to make any MAJOR life decisions in crisis times
  • consider what Paul said in Rom 8:28-29, all things work together for good to those who love God & are called according to His purposes – our main responsibility is to stay in love with God & in His purpose for our life.  From there, He will work it all out
Always remember that God is in the business of converting bad news to good news – hence the term “redemption” 🙂