The Price Of A Prank

Neal Pollard

A summer intern at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) apparently thought it would be funny to “confirm” the names of the four pilots of Asiana Flight 214 to a TV station in the bay area where the tragic crash occurred less than a week before the prank was played.  An Oakland news anchor read the false, insensitive names as the names appeared on screen.  It was horribly offensive.

While the intern no doubt thought it was funny (and perhaps others encouraged him and thought it was funny, too), he (or she) may feel differently today.  The intern was fired and both the TV station and the NTSB have profusely apologizes for the error.  Asiana Airlines has been seriously considering filing a lawsuit against the station for defamation.  Though the story will probably contain further developments, the damage done is considerable.

David once prayed, “Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe Your commandments” (Ps. 119:66). Would you agree with me that demonstrating poor judgment is an all-too-common frailty with which many of us suffer?  Whether a hasty word  (see Prov. 29:20), impulsive action (cf. 2 Tim. 3:6; Ti. 3:3), or snap judgment (Prov. 18:13), the moment of thoughtlessness is often followed by a mountain of regret.

So many areas of life require sound judgment and forethought, whether big decisions like finances, relationships, education, and career or “little” decisions like how to respond to a store clerk or customer service agent, whether or not to tell the truth in a matter, or how to react to something harsh or negative that somebody says to you.

We never know how costly our rashness will be.  Jephthah could write a book about it (cf. Jud. 11:30ff).  May our prayer ever be, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips” (Ps. 141:3).

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