Thursday, March 19, 2015

"I just NEED to VENT!"

Day 2 in the series, "Me and My Big Mouth" is on the art of venting. You could also label this as complaining or ranting or whining....

Unfortunately, the art of venting is one I've perfected over the years. I've used the, "I just need to VENT!" or "I NEED to get this off my chest!" excuse more times than I can count. In the last year especially, I've learned that "venting" leads to gossiping and saying hurtful things that should never even enter my mind. You see, by allowing my heart and my mind to go there, I'm losing focus of scripture. And scripture is very, very clear on venting, gossiping and foolish talk. 

When I lose self-control and allow my mouth to vent, I'm doing the exact opposite of what Paul teaches in Romans 12:1-2, "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." By studying the book of Romans I learned that the first 11 chapters explain the "mercies of God" and by understanding these mercies (or things we do not deserve, but have received anyway as a gift from God) I can live my life as a "living sacrifice". In other words, my entire life - what I say, how I act, and what I think - should become spiritual worship. John Piper states that spiritual worship means that we should "use our minds and hearts and bodies to express the worth of God and all that He is for us in Jesus.

Scripture is very clear that venting is not a form of worship.

"A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back." Proverbs 29:11

I've been a fool more times than I can count and I fail in holding it back daily. My lack of self control leaves me feeling icky and crawling on my knees in repentance to a holy and blameless God. 

The easiest thing for me to do is call my sisters and friends in an effort to "get it off my chest" (whatever "it" is). When in reality God is asking me to "vent" to Him. My first response to anger, frustration, drama, conflict, &etc. should be to pray. Pray in all circumstances. Why should that be of first and foremost importance in a Christian woman's life? BECAUSE...

He is sovereign. He is trustworthy. He is exceedingly wise. He is faithful. He knows all things. He is the beginning and the end and He holds the universe in His hand. If I vent to my friends about whoever and whatever, I forget His majesty and I forget that He is in control, and as a result I am being a fool. 

On the day when I'm faced with drama in my family, or tension in my marriage, or harsh words exchanged between friends, or a close friend or family member has made a terrible decision, or the sky is falling, or or or or or or... I simply need to pray

I want to be a woman who, on the day I meets Christ face to face, can honestly say, "I trusted YOU, Lord, all the days of my life. And whatever drama came my way, You proved over and over again that You are faithful, trustworthy, sovereign and exceedingly wise!"

To rest in Jesus Christ is the ultimate joy, because I have nothing to fear. I can rejoice in tribulations, drama, conflict and whatever else comes my way. The only question I should ask is, "How are You using this to draw me closer to You?" and "How can I glorify you as I persevere?" As long as I take whatever "it" is to God in prayer, all the while trusting Him to handle it with His perfect wisdom and timing, I'll never have to call a friend and begin the conversation with, "I just NEED to VENT!"

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5

Day 1 was cursing, today venting, what does tomorrow hold? Gossiping. Oh, boy....