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When bad news leads to Good News

When bad news leads to Good News

By Jessica Brodie

As a Christian and as a journalist for more than two decades, I’m more than grateful to serve as the editor of a newspaper that gets to publish mostly good news. We all know this is an anomaly in the secular press, but faith-based journalism is unique in that we cover events and occurrences in an imperfect world and culture, but with the hope and joy inherent in our faith undergirding all we produce. You’ll find uplifting and encouraging stories throughout this publication, from exciting and effective new ministries to beautiful ways God shows up through God’s people.

Still, we’re a newspaper, and while in the church I’m thankful mostly good things happen, on occasion bad things do occur—and sometimes, they are very bad things. Evil works its tendrils into even those who are followers of Christ. Over the years, I’ve covered church-related lawsuits, thefts, arrests and more. Squabbles at General Conference are nothing new, and sometimes it can be hard to distinguish Christians from non-Christians by the way we act—or the verbal assaults we make.

News outlets are often criticized for “bad news,” and we get that. I don’t enjoy reading bad news, myself.

But bad news can bring much good. When we hear about bad news, whether in this paper or in secular news outlets, that knowledge equips us to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world in a better, more effective way. We can pray better when we know what we are praying for, and we can trust God hears our collective raised voices and works mightily in our midst.

Sometimes when we hear about bad news, our hearts are stirred to anguish or anger. We feel compelled to do something—to stand up for injustice, to mobilize, to advocate, to legislate. When we don’t know what’s happening in our neighborhoods, regions or the world as a whole, we become inward-focused and complacent.

Sometimes, bad news wakes us up out of our slumber and propels us forward, armed with new ways to share the Gospel in a dark and hurting world that so desperately needs the light of Christ.

Between COVID-19, politics and so much more, we often feel bombarded, like we can’t handle hearing “one more bad thing” or we’ll break. If this is you, pray about that today.

Maybe bad news is the thing God needs you to hear so your heart can better spread the Good News.

2 Comments

  • Nice essay, Jessica! Picking up for UM Insight. Thank you!

    • Thank you, Cynthia!!

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