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Is my friend right? June 28, 2017

Posted by Christine Smith in Uncategorized.

Dear Christian Agony Aunt,


I buy women’s magazines to read the agony aunt letters. As a Christian I know what we read is important so I would never buy certain books if they were sexual or had bad language in them. But I feel agony aunts are different as they aren’t fiction. I like to read about other people’s problems. I do admit though that some of the things I have read continue to haunt me and go over and over in my head.

I was very pleased when I came across your Christian agony aunt but there is hardly any so I still have to resort to reading secular ones. I know some of the problems can be shocking, but it is a fact of life that such things go on. I suppose I could be described as a ‘noisy’ person, yet I can’t see it as prying if people have written about a problem.

I’m writing to you because my friend says I should not read agony aunts letters. Is she right? What do you think and do you read secular agony aunts?

Christine’s answer:

Hello, and thanks for writing in.

I don’t think your friend is being judgemental. I think she has your well being at heart and I agree with what your friend has said to you.

You say that some things you have read have “haunted your mind” shows that your friend cares and has given you good advice.

I myself do not read secular agony aunts and I dislike them intensely. I do read the news as I need to know what is going on in the world to be able to write accordingly. But I don’t continue reading all the gory details. The headlines are daunting enough!

Here are some of my reason why I don’t read secular agony aunts:

*You say you read them because they aren’t fiction. But freelance journalists are hired for them and these letters are mostly fabrications to keep people buying the magazines as ‘ordinary’ issues would not attract readers.

* I do not need to know everything that happens in a person’s personal life or bedroom. I don’t need to read about things that will not do me any good, and in fact could do me harm. It can be filling our minds with things we just do not need to know.

*Agony aunt letters have caused people to feel inadequate, odd, or strange if they read about something they hadn’t thought of doing when they’d felt quite normal and happy before. These letters unsettle people and cause them to experiment and have threatened good marriages.

However, my main reason for not reading secular agony aunt letters is that I could not cope with some of the answers they give to people. The answers are from the world’s standards which are opposite from God’s so I would get upset on seeing the replies.

Like you say Paula, many things do go on in the world, but do we need to know about them all?

I think that secular agony aunts are bad for the mind,  “It is shameful to talk about what some people do in secret” (Ephesians 5:12).

Of course, we should be compassionate about what people are going through. But it has to be with people we meet and then we know we are hearing a genuine problem, giving us the opportunity to tell them about the Lord and that we will pray for them.

“whatsoever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

God bless,

Christine. Christian Agony Aunt.

Reply from Paula.

I know you are right as I have had ongoing nightmares about some things I have read. But the temptation is still there. But I’m going to do my best to resist.

Thanks Christine. I’m pleased I wrote to you and am so glad that you are there for people.

Blessings Paula. UK.

Christine Smith’s books:  www.christinesmithbooks.com




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