Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 16, 2020

If You Must Vent…Vent To God

“Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness.” Psalm 145:3


Frustration happens. Whether it’s little things, like hitting every red light, or bigger things, like dealing with those “sandpaper people” at work. Yes, and there are the really big things as well—cultural, political, even global issues we really can’t do much about.


Now, I’m not generally a complainer. In fact, with frustrations and irritants, as soon as I vent to someone (my husband), I can usually let them go. Usually. But, with certain areas of irritation (annoyance, anger, wits-end frustration), I can sound like a playlist set on “repeat.” Not good—for me or for those on the receiving end. Venting for venting sake, to revisit a complaint over and over again, does no good.


This is when I need to take a cue from our Biblical friend David. The Psalms are awesome, and I highly recommend that you pour through them and study the wealth of wisdom and guidance they hold. But one of the things I love about David is his unabashed transparency when it comes to his frustrations. He cries out to God when his enemies are chasing him, when he experiences betrayal, and even when he feels abandoned by the Lord.


I love that he starts out with some good venting—Psalm 109 is a great example. David spends 20 verses basically telling God, “Go get ‘em!” (He’s even pretty specific about what he wants the Lord to do to them.) But, consistently, David’s words and tone shift before these “venting” Psalms end. He takes the focus off of how others have wronged him and redirects it onto acknowledging God’s character and sovereignty. Often, he even turns to note the shortcomings and failures in his own character and walk, which immediately results in him asking for forgiveness and mercy.


The most beautiful thing, however, is how David’s venting sessions tend to wrap up with praise. It’s as if he comes full circle to remember that no matter what his circumstances (and David saw—and did—the gamut of highs and lows), God is on the throne and worthy to be praised.


So, what’s the lesson here? Venting, by definition, can let off some emotional pressure. And that’s a good thing. But instead of allowing our venting to turn into a dripping of complaints or, worse, a griping habit, let’s take our frustrations to the Lord. In doing so, let’s get some perspective about our situation—and our very big God—and turn our complaining into praise.


“Lord, You are great and worthy to be praised! May my complaints of this life be absorbed into the Truth of who You are, turning my groaning into singing.”


For His Glory


Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Ministry

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