Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Problem with Venting

You know that expression, "I just need to vent a little bit?"

I don't want to go all Moral Police here, but I think there's something to hear and heed in the Bible regarding that.  See if this addresses that issue:
A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. (Prov. 29.11)
The foolishness of venting is easily seen in at least three ways...

1.  Its effects on those around you.  Those who are in the receiving end of your venting often end up burned from your steam, or at the least scalded and a little less trusting.  That's only worsened when you excuse your foolishness with, "I was just venting."  Precisely.The.Point.  And for those who are indirect recipients, they are sure to love and appreciate you more, showing greater honor to the one who just made himself look like the object in primary view when you are on the last horse in a trail ride.  Sure they are.

2.  The antithetical witness to the Gospel, the Good News about the One who was accused and yet did not revile, who suffered but did not threaten.  Instead, He continued to entrust Himself to the One who judges justly (straight out of 1 Peter 2.23).  Jesus turning over the tables in the Temple (the most often quoted biblical story for letting anger get out of control) wasn't just venting.  And you're not Jesus.

3.  You may not have all the facts.  I've been there.  I've vented about a particular issue without knowing everything there is to know, only to find myself embarrassed or embarrassing those around me through my ignorance (or stupidity, as it is more aptly called).  That kind of foolishness can be prevented by "quietly holding back" until you have fact-based things to say.  That includes emails.  And forwarded links from your Great Aunt Susie.  And so on.

Something to chew on today.

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