Ever need to vent?

Mike Leake asks the question:  Is it OK to vent?

He tries to make a point from Proverbys 29:11 and Proverbs 18:2 that it is unwise (actually foolish) to vent to others:

The Scriptures are clear, venting to our fellow man is the way of the fool: whether this venting is in the form of typing out our feelings on Facebook, venting about someone else to a trusted friend, yelling at an imaginary person sitting in a chair in a counseling session, or letting someone know how you really feel about them.

Mike says that we really should vent to God and no one else.

While I’ve done my own vetting to God many times (including this morning!), I think vetting is a valuable resource for most pastors.

It could be that I’m using a different definition than Mike is.

I’m not talking about a one way discussion.

I’m talking about the ability for each pastor or church leader to have someone who is NOT AT ALL connected with their situation that they can share honestly with.

When you’re a pastor, sometimes you need a friend like that.

Someone that won’t judge you.

Someone that can give an objective opinion.

Someone that won’t fire you or hold something against you.

Someone that can give you perspective.

Someone that can encourage you to do the right thing.

Someone that will just listen.

In reality, I think we ALL need to vent from time to time.

Sure, there are times when venting can become sinful.  But overall, a pastor that doesn’t have an outlet for his true feelings and thoughts is likely to explode from the pressure someday.

What do YOU think?  Do you have someone (other than your spouse) that you can vent to?

Has it been beneficial?



  • Jim July 23, 2013 Reply

    Maybe we do need some definitions . . .
    I affirm the need of every pastor to have at least one person apart from their spouse with whom they can vent. Years ago a very wise man by the name of Louis McBurney wrote a seminal book titled Every Pastor Needs a Pastor. It’s still true; pastors need people they can count on to listen to and pray with them about the pain, frustration, and joys of ministry. We can’t do this alone. I would not survive without the circle of “pastors” who listen to my complaints, ask me good questions, help me think though options, and pray for me.
    Unfortunately the idea of American independence and solo entrepreneurism has infiltrated the church and most pastors function like lonely, isolated islands. This should not be.

  • Steve Miller July 23, 2013 Reply

    I guess the Biblical definition of “venting” would be close to lamenting-expressing grief. The Bible even has a whole book on laments, though lamentations appear often, especially in the Psalms.

    People are not rebuked for godly lamenting, they are rebuked for self-centered lamenting, “woe is me.”

    God directed lamenting is saying, “God you are good, but this situation is not, it does not reflect your righteousness nor glorify you.”

    Complaining is saying “I don’t like this because it discomforts me or blocks my will.” Godly lamenting is saying what bothers God also bothers me.

    Lamenting is not complaining, it is voicing your sorrow and discomfort to the Lord. It is part of loving God with all of your heart, you don’t have to be “okay” with a situation to bring it before God. You can talk to Him about the things that frustrate you and annoy you about our broken jacked up world. Let your frustration lead you to God and recognizing his ultimate authority.

  • Jeff Ruble July 24, 2013 Reply

    I have learned from past experience to be careful to who I vent to. I go to God and vent. when I do this I tell Him that I’m not angry with Him just the person or situation.
    After all the bible is full of people who vented to God and it tells us we have a high priest that we can go to. I may be mad but I do it humbly and respect for Him.

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