Date written: August 19th, 2007
Scripture ref: Genesis 37:31-36
TITLE: How do you handle bad news?
PROPOSITION: To study what the Bible teaches regarding how to handle bad news.
OBJECTIVE: That each would know these Bible principles so that when bad news come his way that he will be able to manage it.
1. Read: Genesis 37:31-36
2. About the Text:
1) Moved by jealousy, Joseph's brothers sought to destroy him.
2) They brought him to a remote area and cast him down into a pit.
3) Their intention was to kill him.
4) Fortunately one of his brothers, Judah, had better sense than to do this and instead they sold him into slavery.
5) They dipped Joseph's coat in blood and brought it back to Jacob.
6) The told Jacob that Joseph had been killed by wild animals.
7) So Jacob believed the lie and mourned Joseph for many years.
3. What do we do when we get bad news?
1) How do we deal with it?
2) What tools do we use to manage it?
3) Some bad news is relatively inconsequential.
4) Other bad news can be terribly tragic.
5) How do we handle bad news?
6) In this regard, the Bible teaches us a remarkable number of things that can help with dealing with bad news.
7) Let's notice a few of those things.
4. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
1. When we get bad news, the first thing we want to do is verify it.
2. We don't want to make the same mistake that Jacob made.
3. Sometimes when we receive bad news we overreact.
4. We want to believe the worst.
5. We should take care to verify that bad news is really bad news.
6. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
7. If we fail to verify the bad news, we could make things worse for ourselves as did Jacob.
1. Is there anything that I can do to help the situation improve?
2. What is the bad news that is distressing us?
3. Is it something that we can do something about?
4. If so, then instead of sitting around doing nothing, we ought to get busy doing something.
5. Romans 12:11 says that we are not to be “slothful in business, fervent in spirit serving the Lord.”
6. Colossians 3:23 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”
7. James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
8. Doing nothing when we can do something will only make things worse.
1. When we have verified the bad news and done something, if there is anything to do, we must turn to God in prayer.
2. God wants us to pray to Him in difficult times.
3. Luke 18:1 “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”
4. God doesn't want us to faint, but take courage in Him to do the right thing.
5. We have to be humble enough to turn to the Lord with problems that are out of our hands.
6. 1 Peter 5:6-7 “6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
1. Part of working through any bad news is thinking about such things.
2. Our mind tends to replay the bad news over and over again.
3. It is easy to allow that to happen.
4. But in order to deal with bad news we've got to stop the cycle of negative thinking.
5. This means that we must focus on good things instead of bad.
6. The Bible encourages this behavior as well.
7. Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
8. Counting our blessings goes a long way toward dealing with bad news.
1. Talking to others about our bad news also helps us to deal with it.
2. Talking is therapeutic and helps to alleviate anxiety that we build within ourselves.
3. This also brings us into deeper relationships with our Christian friends and family.
4. Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”
5. In order to do this with others we need to talk about such things.
6. 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 “That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.”
1. In order to handle bad news, we've got to accept it.
2. Sometimes it takes a long time for us to do this depending on how bad the news is.
3. Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
4. Regardless how bad a situation may seem to us, God is able to use it for good.
5. When we recognize this, it will help us toward accepting the bad news that has come into our life.
6. We will always see bad things that happen as working for good in the Lord's hands.
7. For example:
1) when we look at dirty dishes, do we only see a great mess or do we see that we've had food to eat?
2) When we look at rambunctious children do we only see a constant source of irritation or do we see healthy, active, vibrant youth?
3) Even when we look at the death of a saint, do we see it as our loss or his gain?
7. God is able to make all things work for his good.
8. Knowing this helps us to accept bad news and live with it.
1. Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”
2. We don't rejoice without reason, that would be insanity.
3. We rejoice knowing that God is in control of all things good and bad.
4. We rejoice knowing the blessings we have as Christians.
5. We rejoice in the future and hope of all who are children of God.
6. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Rejoice evermore.”
1. How do we handle bad news?