When Everything Good Is Bad for You


When my allergist asked me, “Do you have a family history of glaucoma,” I had to laugh.

No, my eyes are fine. Nor has anyone in my family had eye troubles. Still, I could guess what this was all about—and I was right.

I walk around most days feeling like someone shoved a pair of tube socks up my nostrils. Thus the necessity of nasal steroids to provide me some semblance of nasal clarity. Otherwise, I breathe through my mouth and look like a slack-jawed yokel. (Which I very well might be, come to think of it. Maybe all slack-jawed yokels simply suffer from chronic rhinitis.)

But my Dad worked in the pharmaceutical business, so I have this built-in mental resistance to doctors who load up their patients with this drug and that. Plus, it sure seems to me that the drugs we used in the past cost less and did a better job than these newfangled sugar pills with boatloads of side effects and contraindications. So when the doctor told me they’re finding that nasal sterioid may give you a nasty case of glaucoma, the headshaking began.

Going that prescription route a few years ago may have been a good idea, but now it’s a good idea gone wrong. I can see the lawsuits now. Back to the sinus irrigation, I guess.

Reach a certain age and you get well acquainted with the cycles of what’s good and what’s bad. And the subsequent flip-flops. And the lawsuits. You start thinking that maybe the old wives who told their tales weren’t off in the first place.

My Mom used to believe that dark chocolate was good for you, and now it seems she was right. Eggs, once a dietary pariah, are hot again. Doctors now say that people who regularly jog or run ruin their bodies over time. Vitamins may actually shorten your lifespan, since they oust the place of their more healthy, natural counterparts found in food.

Oy vey, what’s a guy to think?

I’ve heard a lot of advice in my life. Churches dispense more advice than they dispense tasteless wafers for communion. The Godblogdom teems with spiritual advice. Can’t visit a blog and not get some life-altering tidbit offered by this semi-pro guru or that. And yes, the irony that I may be guilty of that sin hasn’t escaped yours truly.

It seems to me, though, that much of the last couple generations’ supposedly good advice, the new wisdom of the ages, doesn’t work in the long run. All truth may not indeed be God’s truth.

I remember just beforeI got married, Christian advisor after Christian advisor told me that to be a good Christian husband, to have the kind of marriage that would withstand any trial, I needed to tell my wife everything. Don’t hold anything back. Be totally open with her and be blessed for it.

I shared that with a group of Christian men recently and they laughed themselves silly. “You fool,” they howled, “you actually fell for that?”

Stupid me. Seemed like good, godly advice at the time. Now I know better.

Looking back, I’ve received a tractor trailer full of supposedly sage Christian wisdom that time has ultimately revealed as the playing pieces in Cow Bingo. That's one massive heap of smoking bovine excrementI could probably even go through my library of classic Christian books, open any one at random, and find some piece of bogus advice.

But enough about me or my past tendencies toward naifdom.

What about you? What seemingly innocuous piece of supposedly Christian advice have you received in years past that amounted to so much manure? I’ve got to believe there’s not a person reading this who hasn’t seen time annihilate at least one sacred cow. Many of those vaunted “truths” start with “If you just….”

Care to share? The comment section awaits.