Sometimes, a girl just has to let off some steam. With jobs, families, husbands, friends, and hormones all mixing into one big pot, the waters can get a little rough. In those moments of frustration, the last thing I want to hear is Little Miss Chipper chiding me for being "negative". You know those people..and I'm sure we've all been these people at one point or another. It goes a little something like this... Person A says, "I'm so frustrated with my job and I'm so mad at my boss." Then Person B says, "You should really be thankful to God that you have a job. Be grateful."
Or Person A says, "I'm annoyed with my friend. She said something that bothered me the other day." Then Person B says, "You really shouldn't let the enemy use things to offend you."
Or Person A says, "I'm upset that my mom is still struggling with this illness." Then Person B says, "You should just keep believing for healing."
You get the idea.
Here's the thing. There is some truth to all of those responses. But are they really what someone needs?
In a perfect world, we'd always react to things the way God wanted us to react. But guess what? That world doesn't exist, and sometimes we just need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to vent to.
In the past, I've felt like I had to fit a cookie cutter image of what a "Christian" should say and not say. One of the rules was to never complain about anything or else I was being too negative. But I learned to be honest with myself, and there are days when I just need to let it! I don't mean go on for hours about how horrible life is, I just mean talk for a few minutes about things that are a bit of a burden for the time being. Sometimes we don't need a positive, upbeat, chipper response. Sometimes we just need someone to sit with us and say, "I understand. That really does stink."
There's a story in John 11 that illustrates this perfectly. When Jesus found out that Lazarus had died, He went to meet with Mary, Lazarus' sister. When He finds her crying, He weeps with her. That part of the story moves me. Even though Jesus knows He's about to raise Lazarus from the dead, He still gets on Mary's level and grieves with her. He doesn't offer her a little saying to make everything ok. He actually just let's her feel what she's feeling.
So if you're that person who, perhaps with the best intentions, offers up a quick chipper response to someone, take a second next time to figure out if that's what someone really needs. Or when you have one of those days where you just need to let it, don't let anyone make you feel guilty for venting. God knows you anyways, so you might as well be honest. Find friends who will let you cry on their shoulders!