September 29 / Proverbs 29


(not sure if the picture fits, but what a great quote!)

Proverbs 29:11

Fools vent their anger.

There’s quite a difference between seeking wise counsel, and merely venting. Venting serves self, to make self feel better, and do naturally what it feels like. Seeking counsel, seeking advice, however, is centered on the other person, on restoration.

Venting really just relives the negative. It recycles negative feelings and embeds further negative feelings toward someone.

Venting builds walls not bridges.

Of course we don’t keep things bottled up inside, waiting to explode. We release our negative feelings to God, who wants to hear from us, who can handle it, and who will direct us (if we listen) and give us peace. In holding nothing back in my conversations with God, I have found great healing. Also, a trusted person who knows you and is committed to keeping you from unproductive, toxic venting is good. A true friend will always hear you well and also guide you toward the path of peace. We must be heard, for sure, yet not allowed to stay in an unhealthy place.

Did you ever vent your frustration about someone (to a third party, not in the “ventee’s” presence) and afterward think more highly of them? Did you feel closer to that person? I sure don’t. I feel solidified in my demonizing of them. It deepens my ill thoughts of that person, justifies them even.

But seeking wise, godly counsel on restoration brings healing and more positive thoughts toward the person with whom you are frustrated. It moves you toward reconciliation. And is not this what  a follower of the loving Jesus would do?

We could significantly raise the level of Christian community if we simply refused to speak ill of anyone. This was one of A.W. Tozer’s agreements he had made with himself, to “never defame another Christian.” This is a pretty good covenant to make with oneself.

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