Delivering Bad News

Craig Abbott

READ : Daniel 5:18-28

I once acted as a consultant to a large hospital facing a major decision. After weeks of interviewing physicians, staff and community members, I concluded that management’s decision was so unpopular it would have a tremendous negative impact on everyone involved. Presenting my final report to the hospital’s CEO was not a pleasant experience.

Delivering bad news is never easy, but it’s often necessary. When Daniel delivered his final report to Belshazzar, he didn’t pull any punches. Instead, he was honest and to-the-point as he noted the king’s sins – obscene partying, arrogance, and idolatry. Without restraint he interpreted the threatening writing on the wall.

This incident reminds us that those who shun the Lord face the consequences of eternal condemnation and total separation from God and his love. The news doesn’t get any worse.

Do you know persons who are rejecting the Lord? Is the Holy Spirit prompting you to point out the dangerous sin in their lives? We help them when we speak the truth in love, creating an opportunity for them to seek the reconciliation with God offered through Jesus Christ.


Lord, be with me when I feel compelled to deliver bad news so they may embrace the good news of Jesus Christ. Amen.