Good news, bad news and how to choose

Which do you want first, the good new or the bad news?” the messenger asks. More often than not, people will choose to hear the bad news first rather than delay delivery of the more negative of the two items.

We seem to want to know the worst first. This may be similar to the human inclination to slow down and rubber neck while driving to catch a glimpse of a collision scene on the highway. The greater the destruction, the deeper the breath we take in sympathy for those who may be injured.

Weather-focused news operations absolutely love it when there’s a blizzard, hurricane, tornado, even a vigorous thunderstorm because their viewers seem to want to know how bad this particular weather event really is. Television ratings for such channels go through the roof when they’re reporting on an impending storm and what happens in its wake.

So what’s the good news?

You may have noticed by now that most of the news media might be more aptly named bad news media and not because they do their work incorrectly. Their objective is to get more eyes, more ears, more heads paying attention to, reading, listening to and viewing their coverage. Since this morbid curiosity or “train wreck syndrome” seems to run rampant, it brings people back for more. As a result, news operations often sell sufficient advertising to continue to deliver more of the same.

“So what’s the good news?” the listener will likely ask. There’s plenty. It’s even within your reach. Just get yourself tuned in and turned on to the nearest Bible and get the Good News directly from the one Source you can always trust to report accurately and never go back on His Word.

“What exactly, then, is the good news?” one might ask. For one thing, we know that the term Gospel literally means good news. So here’s a sampling of good news items from the Gospels and other books of the Bible:

  • God loves you and desires a real and personal love relationship with you.
  • God can and will forgive you when you have a contrite heart, no matter how bad you think you are, however sinful you may be. In other words, your opinion of yourself doesn’t matter; it’s God’s opinion of you that counts.
  • God so loves you (insert your name here) that He gave His only Son to suffer and die so that you could enjoy eternity with Him.
  • God rewards those who are faithful to Him.
  • God punishes those who choose to disobey or deny Him.
  • God loves every single one of His children regardless of how badly they behave. Whatever God says, you can take it to the bank. He doesn’t go back on His Word or His promises.
  • God has a calling on your life that fits His eternal purpose and design.
  • Regardless of the bad news you see today, tomorrow or next week, God is always close by and ready for His children to spend time with Him, to know Him and study His word, and to be active in His kingdom on earth.
There’s plenty more good news

It appears throughout God’s Word. It tends to get much less attention because it’s not delivered daily as a newspaper. Nor is it likely to show up on television as the lead story of most channels. It can be available at the touch of a button in your car provided that you set your radio to a station or fill your audio player with a program carrying His Word. Good news is also available in the quiet, still moments when you have no media blaring or flashing and you choose to spend time listening in silence to the God who created you in His image.

It may not be chic to read the Bible instead of the latest best-selling book or that trendy fashion magazine. The Bible continues to outsell all other books and remains the best-selling book of all time, far and away above anything and everything else.

The best seller lists don’t even bother mentioning the Bible in that top spot. But then again, the publications where those lists appear aren’t in the business of spreading the Good News.

John Earl Carroll is a consultant, author and entrepreneur in Mount Pleasant. Contact him at