People can be really frustrating to deal with. You know it, and I know it. I spend the vast majority of my time talking to people and hanging out with people and one thing is for sure: at times we all find people frustrating. And for some reason, all of that frustration gets stored up and we absolutely have to share it with someone. So we do. Sometimes we share it with our pastor (yeah, I’m talking from experience here). Sometimes we share it with a parent. Other times we share it with a close friend or “accountability partner” (yeah, I had to use some Christianese). Unfortunately, it seems like most of the time we share these frustrations with people we shouldn’t. Thus,
Google+ Gossip+ is the new social networking method.
For the sake of time, I’m going to just cover gossip, slander, and insults here. Quick definition: slander and gossip are when you talk about other people in a negative way. Yes, that’s a simple and concise definition, but it’ll work for now.
The Bible speaks out against gossip, slander, and insulting other people (cf. Ps. 15:1-3; Prov. 10:18; Matt. 5:22; 15:19; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8; 1 Pet. 2:1). There’s really no question about it. Speaking about other people is wrong, and especially wrong when we do it to other people. Here’s my very quick and pastoral reason as to why you shouldn’t talk to most people about your frustrations:
Most people are unable to separate your offense and bitterness and frustration from affecting their own feelings. Often times, the person you are sharing your frustrations with will start to think and feel, “Yeah, that is horrible” and will take on your frustrations. Very rarely can you find someone who is able to avoid this.
So what’s the solution? I agree that people often need to talk about their feelings and try reach a solution. Sometimes talking about things can really help, especially when the person listening can be objective and provide you with godly and biblical counsel. Unfortunately, in the context in which I serve, this is rarely the case.
Therefore, I encourage you to talk to the right people and to place a much higher value on going to the person you are frustrated with first and working out your issues. Sound easy enough? Yeah, I didn’t think so either. But thankfully we have the Holy Spirit to help us.
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.