The line between venting and gossiping.
Ah venting…we all do it, we all need to do it from time to time. Did you know there’s a right way and a wrong way to vent? Indeed there is, and I know from experience. Not only is there a wrong way of venting our feelings, but if we are doing it incorrectly, chances are we are gossiping. I hope you know that gossiping is a sin. If you find yourself wondering how it’s a sin, I’d like to share with you just how. Gossiping is sharing information with others who don’t have a need to know, for the intention of making ourselves feel better about our feelings, instead of seeking biblical wisdom about what we are feeling.
So how does venting fall into the gossiping category? To be honest with you, most of the time it sneaks up on you. Many times when I thought I was just unleashing my sentiments about a situation, I’ve actually caught myself gossiping. I immediately stop myself. It’s a horrible feeling. That’s how I know I’ve bottled up too many things, and I need to talk with God asap. One verse I always keep in mind before venting is Ephesians 4:29- “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” With this, I examine to see if what I want to say is actually gossiping or not. Most of the time, we find that the things we want to be venting about go against this verse. C’mon, are we saying good and helpful things about someone when we’re upset at them? I know I don’t! So I’d rather keep my mouth shut as to not sin to my God.
Always pray Psalm 141:3- “Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips.” and keep that word hidden in your heart. We do this by memorizing the scripture. It is our double-edged sword that gives us victory over the enemy. We need only to be still and let God fight our battles by keeping his word in our hearts, that he may fight for us. See he is always faithful to do what he promises, but he gives us instructions to obey in order that we may see his promises in our lives. Now comes Proverbs 29:11- “Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.” It couldn’t be said any clearer. There’s no beating around the bush to it, it’s straight to the point. If this doesn’t make you think twice about the venting you’re about to do, I don’t know that you actually want to let God help you.
It’s been said we are emotional creatures, and that’s how God created us. There’s no shame in feeling feelings, even if they are ugly. Where we go wrong is when we give in to the feelings. Jeremiah 17:9- “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” & Proverbs 4:23- “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” are two verses that go hand in hand for me. All we feel stems from our heart, therefor we must care for our heart properly, and feed it only what it needs, and it needs God alone. The heart knows it’s creator, and it longs for him always. When I feel that I am heavy with emotions, and I want to talk about them, (but only for the purposes of seeking Godly wisdom or a need to communicate the feelings, like with a spouse where you have to have open communication), I will do one of two things, sometimes both…
Go to my husband and talk to him privately, expressing what I am feeling and asking him to pray with me.
I will go to someone whom I know can relate with my current situation and know they will help me with Godly wisdom.
When I do it like this, I have no guilt or shame in what I’ve done. If I fail to do it this way, because it happens, this is where we must run to God and ask for forgiveness for everything that came out of our mouths, because it was unholy talk. It is unholy talk if it did not build up anyone. Venting the wrong way does not encourage, it only looks to defend itself. Psalm 86:5 says, “O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.” He has his arms already open and waiting for us, so that he can reveal to us that all we really need is him. If we would just talk to him as we talk to our family and friends when we are “venting”, if we just look to him, he is the only one who can truly turn the situation around. Only he can change hearts, only he can rid us of ourselves and fill us with his love and peace, only he can give us victory over our enemies. Our real enemies who are spiritual and not the actual flesh people we see in front of us.
Knowing this, we should always be encouraged to go in confidence to our God, asking him for help when our feelings are getting the best of us. Admitting our weakness is actually gaining strength, from the Almighty God himself. As 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “Each time he said, My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” His power works best in our weakness. Let us remember this next time we are bottled up with emotions. Let us not grow a cold or hard heart, but instead seek his true word, that corrects us because God loves us, making us more and more like him. Though the world may perceive him as weak, or someone who gets “walked on like a doormat”, we know there is great power in the name of Jesus. There is power in the blood that was shed on a cross on calvary, that flows through our veins, making us children of God. That ultimate sacrifice gives us right standing with him, for we do believe in what we don’t see, and this is how we win life’s battles. Amen and be blessed! Remember…Good mood, Good attitude! 🙂
Let me know what are some tips you have on venting? We can always learn from each others experiences! We all seek ways on how to tame those feelings that try to steal our God given Joy and Peace. God can use any person to help build up another. We all need somebody to lean on. Stay blessed friends and fam! 🙂
- Ephesians 4:29 (NLT)
- Psalm 141:3 (NLT)
- Proverbs 29:11 (NLT)
- Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT)
- Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
- Psalm 86:5 (NLT)
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)