The other day, I was asked a question that I honestly have never even considered before. The question was in regards to the habit that many us have to call and complain to someone when we’re frustrated – those in my circle of friends typically call it “venting.” The question is:
Do you think that’s it’s okay to vent? Is it okay Biblically?
The difficult thing about questions of this sort is that I know my tendencies – I know how often I’ve called someone in order to let off a little steam before re-entering a difficult conversation or situation. These type of phone calls are not about getting counsel. They’re all about getting my gripes out preventatively so that the claws don’t come out in anger.
Surely, that’s an okay thing to do, right?
I don’t think it is.
You see, I think venting in this manner is – much like most sins – poorly veiled pride.
When we make that phone call or have that side conversation, it’s not for the sake of the other person’s benefit. It’s not for the sake of reconciliation or help. We’re not calling for counsel. We simply want to tell someone else how wrong someone else is, and how right we are.
The conversation is all about justifying our anger or frustration. It’s all about seeking someone else to agree with someone else’s “wrong-ness” – perhaps even to the extent that you want the person on the other end of the phone call to get as worked-up about it as you are.
Aren’t we merely wanting someone else to affirm how right we are and how wrong that other person is? Isn’t seeking that sort of “right-ness” pride? Isn’t that sort of relaying someone else’s “wrong-ness” gossip? And aren’t we instructed in Scripture to do the exact opposite?
Image via flickr: kateco