What if you were asked to tell a buddy a truth that was good for him? Would it make you feel good? Would you be happy you told him?
What if you needed to tell a friend the truth, and it was dreadful for him? Would you feel miserable? Would you be heartbroken for him?
Doctors give news too often. They tell some there is no spot on their lungs. No cancer to condemn them. To others they report the spot is on their lungs, it is cancer, and they have only a short while to live.
Truth is paramount. How we react depends on us. Telling a friend good news is easy. Telling a friend bad news is always hard.
How should a surveyor tell a land owner his land was inaccurately mapped years ago?
How should a judge order a parent to release their child to the other parent?
How should a policeman tell parents their child is in the city morgue?
How should a groom tell his fiancée he is breaking off the wedding?
Joseph was a ‘trustee’ in prison. Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker were sent to his prison. Both men had dreams. Joseph, through God, interpreted the dreams. Joseph had no trouble telling the cupbearer the truth of him getting his job back within three days. But how did Joseph tell the baker his news? The sad truth was the baker, within three days, would lose his head, and his body would be feed to the birds.
I struggle here. I am a person with a big, deep voice. I am often misinterpreted as harsh and uncaring. When delivering unpleasant news, I lower my voice and over-compensate with analogies, stories, etc., in an attempt to be gentle. Instead, I am misunderstood and do poorly at expressing unsettling truth .
Do I need to be sober-minded and gentle?
Gentleness is good. Jesus was gentle. Church leaders must be gentle. A gentle and quiet spirit can win a mate to Jesus.
What about being sober? Again, church leaders are to be sober. Young men are to be sober (levelheaded). All Christians are to be sober.
When bad news must be shared, Jesus’ disciples will be gentle and rational.
What else might help?
Have you got a story of telling someone bad news? Would you share it with us?
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