“If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” James 3:2
I recently watched the movie, “Sense and Sensibility,” again [If you don’t understand the fascination with Jane Austen then I can’t explain it to you. It’s just one of those things!]. One of the characters, the youngest daughter, says, “I like that couple. They talk about things. We don’t talk about anything. Anything except the weather.”
We live in a society where we talk about things. On and on. Over and over. On TV, the radio, Facebook, and –believe it or not–at church. We take molehills and make mountains ranges out of them, effortlessly. We discuss ad nauseum topics that have no real import or relevance in the grand scheme of things.
Someone once said that before getting upset about something we might consider asking ourselves the question, “Will this matter in twenty five years?” If the answer is “no” then maybe we should just let it go.
So…to vent or not? Isn’t it healthy to let it all hang out, to share our anger and opinions? Well, that depends. In some cases, it is important to share, but often we share way too much. The problem is that once said, words don’t go away. They hang in the air, like pollution that won’t let relationships grow. They cause barriers that keep us from spending time with that person, overlooking the past, and moving to a different plane in our relationship.
So when you are tempted to vent, to let that person “have it,” to write that hot letter, just pause, take a deep breath, pray about it, and sleep on it. Let time give perspective, and follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit on what to do next.