Most people believe that venting frustrations is healthy. And truthfully, sometimes it does feel good to release a bit of stress to someone who really understands. However, what we forget is that complaining breeds discontent, which is probably why God tells us not to do it (Phil 2:14). Venting to another human being may be necessary in some situations, but then we have to let it go.
We must choose carefully when sharing our frustrations with others. Even well-meaning Christians can encourage us to stay mad about issues that are better left alone. Our friends understand our perspective and feel bad when we’re put in tough situations. They give us platitudes and condemn the other people involved. Isn’t that what a good friend does – takes our side and tells us we were right all along?
God cares about how we respond to situations we don’t like. He uses all kinds of negative experiences to test our character and make us more like Christ. He wants us to foster an atmosphere of love, peace and joy wherever we go, not negativity.
- We can close our mouth and stop telling everyone all the details when we’re wronged. God wants us to see the best in people, to give them the benefit of the doubt rather than draw attention to their flaws. Love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Pet 4:8)
- Rather than fighting to defend ourselves or justify where we were right, we can let things go a little more quickly and a little more often. It’s God’s job to avenge, not ours. (Rom 12:9)
- Dwelling on the negative aspects of life only adds to our raging emotions and gets us stirred up even more. We have to choose not to continuously think about what went wrong and focus instead on our blessings. (Phil 4:8)
- We must talk with God about the issue rather than people. Our prayer can’t be “Lord, fix this and grant me justice,” but rather “Lord, how do You want me to respond? What do You want me to learn from this?”
How do you respond when something goes wrong?