My girlfriend served up these words to me about her boss the other day at lunch:
- He called for magic but I was out of practice. In order to meet the short-time turnaround deadline I have to use a little flimflammery and deceive him with my chummy rhetoric. I can talk a fine game when I have to.
If he calls me Tootsie one more time, I will hand him the Dustin Hoffman movie and tell him that he must be talking about that Tootsie.
I'm chewing up a collection of gumballs. The stack is growing nicely. My next step: to leave the wad on his chair. Serves him right for not treating me with respect; after all, I am his right-hand man.
They say that revenge is a dish best served cold, and our lunch sure was. My friend was just talking, I know — and she knows it, too — but venting in a safe place seemed to calm her a bit. We had a good laugh about the whole thing.
What do you vent about? Be careful. Is it becoming a rant? Are you exaggerating your problem? Is it taking over your life? Are you boring your friends and family with unending complaints? Did you take your problem to Jesus in prayer?
That's what the old hymn by Edmund S. Lorenz says: "Tell it to Jesus alone."
These verses might help:
Colossians 4:5-6 – Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don't miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. (MSG)
Romans 12:19 – Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. (NIV)
Matthew 11:28-30 – Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly. (MSG)
Prayer: God, we are stuck in a rut of complaining and whining instead of thankfulness. We resolve to change, with Your help. Thanks, God! Amen.