If you’re anything like me, you feel the need to vent every once in awhile. Am I right? Even if you’re nothing at all like me, I imagine that there are times in your life when you just feel that you have to “get it all out”—you know, say your piece and move on. Call up that friend and give them an earful about that other friend. It’s when everything seems to be going wrong. It’s when frustrations are high and patience is running out. You’re on your last straw. You’re trying to stuff it all in as it comes, but eventually it erupts out of your mouth. I like to call this “word vomit.” We might feel better for a moment, but then we realize the mess we have to clean up.
I’m a verbal processor. I typically figure things out and deal with things when I talk them through. Here’s the problem with that.
“A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool.” Ecclesiastes 5:3
Translation? It’s hard to avoid sin when your mouth never stops. Ouch. With many words comes much sin. Conviction. And here’s the problem with venting—it almost always includes anger, frustration, bitterness, resentment, slander, impatience, pride, and the list could go on and on. Another problem with venting? Because the above list tends to characterize our speech when we vent, it damages the ears, the minds, and the hearts of the hearers.
Remember what Ephesians 4:29 says?
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Do the words that come out of your mouth build up or tear down? Do they give grace to those who hear or do they corrupt the heart of the hearer? If you want to take this verse seriously, then these are fair questions. God gave us mouths to worship Him and to bless others. Period. Every other use of our mouths is spent on lesser things.
Some of you at this point might be thinking, “Well, what am I supposed to do when I need to get it out? If it’s boiling up inside of me, ready to explode, how do I handle that?”
Vent to the Lord.
He can handle it. It’s not going to corrupt or defile Him. Pour out your heart to the Lord. Roll it all off onto Him. Others were never intended to handle it, not well anyway. Every time we vent to one another, we sow seeds of frustration, strife, discord, and anger. These words do not bless, and they certainly do not build up. If we would first take our concerns and frustrations to the Lord, first and foremost, we’d find the mercy and strength we need in our time of need, and secondly, Ephesians 4:29 might characterize our speech a bit more.
Friends, this is how transformation occurs—one step at a time in the right direction, again and again. This is a step we all can take today. This is a choice we all can choose to make today—to run to the Lord first with our grievances, sparing those around us from our word vomit. Trust me on this one. It will not only bless others—it will bless you, too.