Isn’t it amazing what passes for news these days? Last weekend, I flipped on the TV and MSNBC was doing a whole segment about Miss California USA, her racy photos, her stance on gay marriage, and the possibility that she  might lose her crown.  CNN gave it plenty of coverage, too.  Last week, one morning, the Today Show covered it as one of the three lead stories in the opening of the show.  In case you’ve missed all the fuss, don’t worry. It’s not worth your time (see lesson #1 below).  But if you’ve already been bombarded with it this week, at least you can glean a few lessons from it:

1. Be intentional about the news you focus on.

Some of it is pure gossip and isn’t worthy of your time and attention.  Aren’t you busy enough already managing your own challenges and issues?  Ever notice that every year there seems to be a scandal that requires Donald Trump to decide whether a wayward contestant will keep her crown?  It’s not a coincidence.  He’s a PR genius.

2. Resist the urge to judge others. 

That doesn’t mean you have agree with a person’s behavior or words, but be careful about how quickly you point out others’ mistakes.  Miss California USA has been accused of being a hypocrite after proclaiming family values, then appearing in racy photos.  Truth is, we all have said or done things we wouldn’t want broadcast and scrutinized on the evening news.  But if you’re the one who made the mistake, own up to it.  Proclaiming your faith isn’t about being perfect, but about acknowledging your flaws and the grace God has gives you to recover from them.  When you truly accept grace, excuses are not necessary.

3. Stand up for your beliefs.

Asked by a gay marriage advocate whether she believed in gay marriage, Carrie Prejean told her truth.  It wasn’t popular with some, but she answered the question honestly.  I encourage her to muster the same courage to be honest when talking about her racy photos.

Coaching questions:

1. Is there someone you are judging these days because of their less-than-ideal behavior?  Without excusing the behavior, how could you practice more grace and mercy in your approach to the situation?

2. Are you on news overload?  What could you do about it?
3. In what way do you need to tell your truth?  What’s holding you back?

Valorie Burton is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) is the author of five books, including What’s Really Holding You Back?Listen to Your Life, and How Did I Get So Busy?The 28-Day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule and Reconnect with What Matters Most.  Subscribe to her free e-newsletter at and follow her at