Monday, December 12, 2011

What Do You Do With the Grrrr?

Sometimes things eat at me. I'll think I've put them behind me and then out of no where I find myself talking about them again. With passion and anger, guilt and tears. We have many ways to describe our letting it all out.

Seeking counsel
Gaining perspective
Confiding in a trusted adviser
Releasing the tension

We use pretty terms to rationalize (and excuse?) our behavior, but what is the right way to handle pent up feelings? Is it necessary to let them out? What happens when we don't? What is the Biblical way to deal with them?

When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.
Proverbs 10:19

Do everything without complaining or arguing
Philippians 2:14

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29

I know these verses and have recited them to myself for years, but there's something about getting it out that feels better. Once I've spoken it I can let it go easier. Often as I'm spewing my junk, I hear how ridiculous it sounds out loud and am shamed into silence. If I only vent to my husband, isn't that okay? I mean, we are as one, so technically I'm talking to myself, right?

Hmmm. I have noticed though, that just like potato chips (you can't eat just one), once I open my mouth I'm more tempted to do it again and the problem with that is, not only can it border on gossip, but I'm tainting the opinion of the person I'm venting to. Will they get a bad taste in their mouth over something I've said?

But often someone gives me a different perspective, helps me make better sense of a situation, shows me the error in my thinking, sets me straight. In that case, saying something is worth it. How long would I have carried the grrr with me otherwise?

Once I'd been upset with my husband and held it in for six months when it exploded all over him. I never want to repeat that. Oooh. So ugly. And definitely not healthy for our marriage. How was our union affected that six months?

But here's my biggest struggle. I can't find scripture to support venting. Can I use verses like these? Talking things over with a trusted friend can help.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

Ugh. Do you see my dilemma? I want to handle this correctly. Can you do it with a trusted few you know will not repeat your angst? Should you never utter negativity? If I have a problem with someone, should I only talk to that person? But what if you can't? What do you do with the grrr then? I don't know the answer. At times I've been encouraged by sharing my pent up feelings, but others times I've carried guilt afterward. I've worked on this post for at least six weeks, waiting for God to bring the answer and so far have heard nothing. I figure I need help. Has He spoken to you on the issue?

What is your opinion on venting?

Photo Credit: Artworks Creative Communities

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