Written for my daughter Tabitha on January 1st 2014.
My dear and precious daughter I hope you find these things helpful. I love you a lot and hate to see you have to deal with bad news. It is my hope that these things will help you navigate your way through the bad news that you will face. May God’s grace and peace be with you.
1. Pray. Try to make prayer your first response to bad news. Then pray your way through the bad news.
2. Survive. If the news is really bad (spouse just died, child died, terminal cancer, horrible accident involving a loved one, etc) then just survive. We are not supermen or superwomen. Sometimes the most spiritual and godly thing you can do is to just survive. Don’t underestimate this.
3. Don’t make a big decision unless you have to. Sometimes the nature of the bad news requires us to make decisions but sometimes we have time. Our judgment and wisdom are affected by bad news so it’s often a good idea to wait until our heads are clearer. Here is a question I ask myself when I feel pressured to make a decision after some bad news. Do I have to make this decision right now or can it wait?
4. Figure out what it’s going to take for you to recover from the bad news and get healthy. Some bad news sets us back spiritually, emotionally and physically. Take some time and think about this. For some of you this may mean prioritizing rest, counseling, a vacation or time with God.
5. Talk to yourself. Yes I just said that. It is ok to talk to yourself. In fact let’s be honest, we all do it. The important thing is to make sure you are doing the talking from a principled and truthful perspective. What this looks like for me is reminding myself of who God is and what He has said in His word. It also means reading the word of God and praying.