Venting may feel good, but is it godly?
Do you ever feel like if you don't talk about your frustrations, you just might explode? Have you every unloaded a laundry list of annoyances on someone and wrapped it up by saying, "Sorry ... I just needed to vent"?
Been there. Done that.
It's a widespread belief that every once in a while we all need to blow off steam and that holding anger in is dangerous. But researchers have actually discovered that while venting may make you feel better temporarily, it actually has been shown to increase aggressive behavior later on. Simply put, venting is not an effective way of controlling your anger.
Maybe that's why Jesus gave us this warning:
"But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken" (Matthew 12:36).
Whoa! Not a lot of room for ranting there. Jesus said we will give an account for every fruitless word we ever speak. That includes when we spout off every angry feeling in the name of venting.
That's not the only warning Scripture gives on this subject.
Proverbs 29:11 says, "Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end."
In other words, spewing at the mouth just isn't smart.
This doesn't just apply to the actual words that we speak. Have you ever hammered out Facebook status in a fit of rage, hit send on an email that you typed to get your frustrations out, or sent out a text when you were really peeved and needing to blow off steam? Me too. I believe we will give account for those empty words, and the fallout caused by digital venting is enough to prove that spewing is foolish.
I want to do better about putting the brakes on my tongue when I have the temptation to vent, don't you? I'm wondering about a better way to manage my feelings when I feel like I'm about to blow. I bet you have some great ideas. In fact, let's make a list. What are some ideas you have for productive ways to deal with anger other than venting? What do you do when you are feeling frustrated instead of talking about your anger? Leave me a comment below, and tell me about it.