|(photo by Jessica Flavin/CC-BY-2.0)|
by Jay Adams
Not too long ago there was a psychological theory called “ventilation.” I’m not sure whether or not it has died out everywhere yet. But theory or no theory, it’s still seems to be a popular idea—if you’ve got something churning inside, you’d better get it out, for your own good.
“What’s wrong with that?”
Well, several things. I think I’ll just mention two.
First, the self-centeredness of it is apparent. Who cares what happens to the other guy when I take out my ire on him—I’m the one who counts!
“Well, I can see that. What’s the second thing?”
Let me read you what God says about the issue in Proverbs 29:11:
A stubborn fool fully ventilates his anger,
but the wise, holding it back, quiets it.
“Wow! Didn’t know God had spoken about the matter!”
Quite explicitly. Who wants to make a fool of himself? And it doesn’t hurt you to “hold it back” as the Freudians thought, either. In fact the more you work yourself up into a lather that finally spills out, the worse things get—not the better. No only for you—but for everyone around you.
And first thing you know, you have to go around seeking forgiveness. To vent your anger is foolish in every way you can imagine. For sure, ventilation isn’t an option for the believer. Something to think about, eh?
Originally posted February 11, 2011, at the Institute for Nouthetic Studies blog