Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Advice for The One Who Feels Inclined to Rant

On the Subject of Rants

Well, I'm finally feeling inspired to write after months of silence.  

What has inspired me?   The subject of ranting.

What is ranting?  This is the definition that most accurately describes my understanding of ranting:   to speak or declaim extravagantly or violently; talk wildly; rave; to express at length a complaint or negative opinion

 I have been somewhat encouraged to come out of the closet and admit to ranting, by the shared rant of a fellow ranter.

I've been known to rant a bit about certain subjects.  In fact, just lately, I've let fly more than once with some of my frustrations about a particularly difficult and painful situation.

Having been a regular ranter and having lived with one, I thought I'd share some points about ranting that might be enlightening, amusing and perhaps helpful.

These points aren't necessarily in any order.

* The one on the receiving end of the rant, hereafter referred to as the rantee, is often least deserving of the rant - they just happen to be the silly bugger who made some casual remark or gesture that hit the 'rant' button.

* Christians are more likely to rant because they are often too polite to say the bleeding obvious for months on end, then it all explodes at once.

* Rants are usually caused by the ranter feeling powerless, unheard or unappreciated.

* If rants are becoming quite regular, it might be wise for the rantee to remember that perhaps the ranter needs a break, needs to be listened to more, or needs empowering to speak when something should be said.

* It is wise not to underestimate the possible pain behind a rant and prayerfully consider how to help without pressing that rant button yet again.

* Rants often occur at 'that time of the month'.

* Rants tend to contain a lot of truth, however badly presented.  It is wise to listen to all that is said and wise to take it straight to the cross afterwards, and ask God to show what needs sifting through and what needs to just be left there, with Him.

* The contents of a rant often surprises the ranter as much as the rantee.   It is best to give the ranter time to process what has come out of their mouths in a 'safe' place, directing them finally and always to God.

* Rants also tend to contain a lot of information that the rantee might not really consider important or interesting.    It is wise to show genuine interest and concern, so as to prevent another rant, and possibly a more vehement one.

* Rants tend to be exhausting for both the ranter and rantee, so it's best to give each other some space afterwards to recuperate.

* If you find yourself ranting a lot, then perhaps it's time to ask God to snip the wires to some of the rant buttons in your life (warning:  this could be a painful experience)

* The rantee can take some comfort in knowing that the ranter doesn't feel the need to be overly polite in their presence - in fact, being a rantee is best seen as a great privilege, rather than a painful experience. 

* David, of the Psalms variety, ranted - a lot!!   But, he always started and finished his rant by reminding himself and his rantees that God is good and God is strong and God is in control.

* It could be said that Jesus ranted - clearing out the temple, dealing with Pharisees.  So, it could also be said there is such a thing as a righteous rant.   Okay, so only Jesus was truly capable of that, but we could aspire to more righteous rants - no, not more rants, but containing the rants to those situations that truly justify them.

* A Christian in rant mode should refrain from name-calling, derogatory remarks and foul language and the words 'never' and 'always' are best avoided so as to minimise schrapnel damage.

* For both the ranter and rantee - apply self-control and grace liberally - before, during and after the rant.

* And lastly, God is the best one to 'let it rip' with - He can handle it.   Then, a mini rant with a trusted rantee is always helpful for thinking out loud and moving to a healthier headspace, aka attitude. 

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man holds it in check.  Prov 29:11

 Linking up at Titus 2 Tuesdays








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