Thursday, November 18, 2010

Prophetic Bad News

Gene asked about advice for a prophetic person delivering bad news to a person who has asked for a prophetic word. Here are my thoughts.

Keep your heart right. I can remember a time when I took pleasure in giving hard words to groups of people whom I though deserved it. That attitude was detestable and I am now embarrassed by it. Something is seriously wrong with Christians who take pleasure in giving bad news.

If we find it harder to give bad news than good news, we should ponder the reason. Maybe we think that if bad news does not eventuate, we will look mean, whereas if we give good news and it does not happen, the person will not mind. Unfortunately giving good news that is not inspired by God can do serious harm to the person receiving it. We should check carefully that we are right, whether we have good news or bad news.

I believe that if God gives us a word for someone, he can also tell us how to give it. If he asks us to give bad news, we should ask him how he wants it presented.

  • Micah seemed to use humour or hyperbole to give bad news to Ahab. Despite the funny way that Micah presented his word, Ahab got the message (1 Kings 22:15-23).

  • Nathan told a parable to get David’s attention for a hard word. He told it in a way that sucked David into sympathy for the victim. This made it very difficult for David to reject the bad news (2 Sam 12:1-7).

  • Jeremiah uses symbolic actions to bring bad news, and to give hope. This made people curious, which opened their hearts to the word (Jer 13:1-12).

Asking God how to give a hard word is really important. Obeying him is the best way.

Whether bring good news or bad news, we should present it in a humble way. It does not hurt to say, “This is not nice, but it is what I got from the Lord. You are welcome to test it”.

Love is most important of all. If someone knows that we love them, they will find it easier to accept bad news from us, but there are no guarantees, so love is always willing to suffer for the truth.

1 comment:

Gene said...

Thanks, this is good instruction. I knew you would have some. I think I struggle because there can be damage in valued relationships when bad news is brought.

I am checking my heart. And, I want to be certain I am hearing from God.