“The good news is better than that.” - Love Wins – Rob Bell, p. 181
There’s something about that thought that stuck out enough to me to mark it down as a draft, a potential post, on this blog. Nine months later, and maybe I’ve found the right timing, the right opportunity to bring something to bear. Because I think we get so much wrong, that when we eventually think we might have it right – well, we might still be completely wrong.
Good news is better than that.
When your life is a metaphorically constant banging of your head against the wall, simply stopping the rapid back and forth motion against the hard hurtful object is enough to bring peace. But it’s not real peace as much as it’s the stoppage of pain. Real peace takes work. Real peace is valuable and lasts longer, runs deeper. Real peace is communal and relational. Real peace is different than just stopping the banging.
What’s easy seems to be the right way. Having things work out the way we expected can be misconstrued as the right way. Small blessings can be blown out of proportion. Listening to the folks giving us kudos but not paying as much attention to the people with dissenting views can give us a false positive on what’s the right way. And whether this is playing out in a positive or a negative bent, this is not a good thing.
Back to the statement above, that “the good news is better than that” – how many times have we settled in on “the good news” and closed ourselves off from what, in fact, might be better? I think: too often; too readily; too dogmatically. We might be doing good things, but we’re closing ourselves off from better choices. Or worse, we’re self-destructive and there’s no way on earth for us to see what’s going on because there’s no way on earth we would pay attention outside our circle of enabling friends…
So after beating around the bush, let me be as blunt and still as vague as I can be: The good news is better than that. But, you won’t open your eyes to what that good news might really be. In the process of making choices, in thinking things are getting better, you are setting yourself up to fail – and this time, it is hurting those you love the most. With that in mind, your stance on “doing the right thing” is shattered on the hearts of people who hold you most dear. They will forgive – but you will not know how much because you’ve closed that door, because you’ve turned that corner. If this were really good news, your actions and choices would be better than that. But it’s not, and they’re not, and well, I’m pissed.
And God is given either the credit or the blame. In reality, you’re not listening to Him enough to do either. And the good news is still way better than that.