Monday, November 01, 2010

Hard news, bad news

I had an interesting conversation on an autism forum a week ago, and I came upon a great fundamental truth:

To the degree that we refuse hard news, we become bad news

It's all over the Bible, of course. People murdered the prophets, becoming bad news to themselves and their whole nation, because they hated the hard news, true as it was, that the prophets brought.

Jesus had some hard news for his hearers too. "Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you" - and those who wouldn't hear it were gone, hurting themselves and everyone around them. Peter didn't want to hear it when Jesus told them that they would grab him, flog him, spit on him, and nail him on a cross. So Jesus had to address him as Satan - adversary - and when Jesus talks to you like that, you'd best believe you're being bad news.

Now all this is obvious everywhere in the world. When this came up in the autism forum, it was in the context of people being in denial about their kids being autistic, so that they don't get the help they need. Lots of people die of cancer because they blow off hard news that could have saved their lives.

Blow off hard news, be bad news: it's a universal principle. I'll leave other examples as an exercise for the reader. I've been seeing lots of ways I can be bad news a little less, by making peace with hard news when it's the truth.

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