Twenty-Nine {31 Days of Wisdom}

Most likely the area I have been convicted most over these last 29 days has been in the way I use my words.  The way they can bring life and in one second tear down. The way they can comfort and the way they can cause pain.  The timeliness of a good work and the foolishness of a word out of turn.  Today’s proverb speaks this:

“A fool gives vent to his spirit but a wise man quietly holds it back.” {ESV} 

The New Living Translation says it like this:

“Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.”

How many times have I called up a friend and opened the conversation with, “I just need to vent.”

Or how many one-sided conversations have I had, processing a situation that almost always involves a person and I’ve ended it with, “I’m sorry… I just had to vent.”

While there is a place for verbal processing and a trusted friend who you can share with is priceless…even those words, especially those words can bring death.  The gracious and listening friend may leave the conversation with a tainted view of another person, or a tainted view of me… my faith… the person of Christ in me.

There is a place for talking through anger, but in our haste sometimes we say things we really don’t mean or say things that are hurtful which would be better healed if taken directly to the Healer himself.  We are all human and in our flesh we can make judgments of others which we do not intend.  Holding it back doesn’t necessarily mean not ever sharing what we are going through… holding back the venting, at least for a little while, can cause us to calm down and receive a perspective and peace from God we may not receive if we continue to stir the pot of our emotions in the midst of venting it out.  Then when we go to process it, perhaps it doesn’t come out as scathing as it once might have.

The dryer vent outside my house emits the heat and scent of the dryer. It goes out into the atmosphere from yard and I can’t see it… but it is there.  Next time I want to vent, I hope  God will give me the strength to hold back and not release the ugliness in my heart into the atmosphere, causing someone in front of me to inhale the nastiness when it could be more easily resolved… or healed when taken to God.

He can handle my venting and the anger it is rooted in much better than my girlfriends can {no offense to my girlfriends}.