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BAD PRESS

 

Paul Schneidmill

 

We can learn many lessons (good and bad) in life if we would simply be attentive (i.e., listen and observe).  Hopefully and preferably, we will all work to adopt and practice the good lessons and discard (for practice, at least) any and all lessons we can determine as being bad.       

 

During an expertly taught Bible Study lesson recently conducted by Mrs. Constance Watson (wife of Pastor Columbus Watson – Beulah Baptist Church Alexandria, Virginia), I learned a valuable lesson in addition and relation to what she was actually teaching – this is why it is important for us to “pay attention” to what we hear and see in life!

 

As she taught, she referred to several passages of Scripture that highlighted the activities and characteristics of a fellow named Balaam (pronounced, Beh’-Lamm – see his claim to fame in Numbers 22-24, and his demise in Joshua 13:22). 

 

Each Scripture passage “First Lady” Watson utilized in her lesson pertaining to Mr. Balaam, portrayed him in a very bad light (2 Peter 2:15-16, Jude 1:11, and Revelation 2:14).  These particular verses defined how and what Balaam was remembered for.  The verses were a testament to his legacy…and they weren’t good at all.  Suffice it to say that they were not indicative of anything that could be remotely remembered as “positive contributions.”  In effect, Balaam’s overall lifetime contributions are highlighted by “Bad Press.”

 

“Bad Press” simply is news that isn’t good.  “Bad Press” is almost always 99.99% negative.  When it is verbalized or written about people, it is designed to discredit, malign, and vilify the very character of the individual or individuals addressed.

 

There are three things we need to recognize about “Bad Press”

 

1) Everybody will get some – that’s a good thing.

2) Many will be greatly disturbed by it to the point of taking it personal and seek to counter or remove it – that’s not a good thing.

3) Some will be remembered for it (and it alone), no matter what they’ve done – that’s a very, very bad thing.

 

For the first one, it’s good because everyone you encounter in life will not like or love you, and no matter what you do or say, it will be faulted by some form of “Bad Press.”  Therefore, you’ll have the advantage of knowing where you stand with others.  For the second one, it’s not good because when people try to defend themselves of “Bad Press” (whether it’s true or not), more often than not, their endeavors result in more pain and suffering than the “Bad Press” gave out to begin with.  The third one is the kicker – I don’t believe anyone wants to be remembered for the negative things associated with their life…but when one is, that’s really, really bad.

 

Cases in point:  Do you know anyone named Judas?  Judas was the gentleman who “sold” Christ out to be crucified for thirty silver coins.  Because of this, he is characterized and remembered by such “Bad Press” (rightly so) that no one names their children after him.  What about Cain, Jezebel, Ahab, or Manasseh?  Anyone know someone by those names?  Have you heard of a man named Jeroboam?  He was the first King of the northern region of Israel (following its division after the reign of King Solomon, and during the reign of his son).  Jeroboam is remembered for being the person who caused a whole nation of people to sin – disrespect and disobey God (see 1 Kings 14:16; 15:30, 34; 16:2, 19, 26; 22:52, 2 Kings 3:3; 13:2, 6, 11). 

 

To me, that’s the epitome of “Bad Press.” 

 

Lastly, here are more current and familiar (I hope) examples: the leader of Germany during the second World War, remembered for atrocities and genocide; a past American  President, now mostly remembered for a scandal conducted at a now famous Washington D.C. hotel.   

 

No matter what good these people may have done, due to the severity of their negative actions, they are largely remembered by “Bad Press.”  (You probably can think of a whole lot more…because of our sinful nature (Psalm 51:5, John 3:6, Romans 5:12, Ephesians 2:3), it’s easier for us to remember the “Bad Press” about people more than anything else.)

 

As previously stated, we’ll all get some “Bad Press” during our lifetime (whether we deserve it or not), but we definitely don’t want to be primarily remembered for it. 

 

Let’s strive to obey God and serve Him faithfully.  If we do that, there’s a much better than 99.99% chance that “Bad Press” won’t be the hallmark of our legacy

 

Copyright © Paul Schneidmill