Move the Kettle Off the Burner

A fool gives full vent to his anger but a wise man holds it back. 

                                                                                        Proverbs 29:11    

 Anger is meant to make the world a better place, yet sadly, our anger usually leaves a trail of destruction. We lash out in anger but our intent is not to help, but to hurt othersOur anger is retaliation to those we think have wronged us. And we want it to sting. 


Yet, just as we are about to make the crucial first step of admitting the harm our anger is causing, the “experts” wave the latest research in our face.  Suppressing anger, we are told, is psychologically damaging.  We must learn to “vent.”   

When psychologists say ventilation is beneficial, we must ask, beneficial for whom?  Is venting beneficial to the poor soul whose car stalled at the traffic light as he listens to the angry honking cars behind him?  Is ventilation beneficial to you when you make a mistake and someone explodes with rage? Look, if “ventilation” is good because I feel better after cursing you, it is still an act of selfishness; others must suffer deep wounds for the sake of my “relief.”   

Once someone tried to rationalize their hot temper by saying, “I blow up, and then it’s all over.” Their friend pondered this, then replied, “A shotgun does the same thing. But look at the damage it leaves behind.”   

The fact is, ventilation is not good. Not for others, and not for yourself. Recent psychological research on anger has reversed its former advocacy for ventilation. Beside the obvious fact that “venting” corrodes relationships, psychologist are now finding that venting anger does not decrease but increases your inner rage and bitterness.  To put it simply: The more you vent, the angrier you become.   

We’re finally catching up with God. The Bible has taught from ancient times, “A fool gives vent to his anger, but a wise man holds it back.” 

Psychologist, Gary Emery, has found that only one out of three hundred happily married couples reported that they yell at each other. Healthy relationships are not fostered because couples have learned to “vent.”   


When you set a tea kettle on a hot burner, how do you keep the kettle from exploding? One way is to allow the steam to escape. If you choose to do this, you will have a continuous plume of scalding steam. But, there is another way: move the kettle off the burner!   

Did you know that God is not angry with you because of your sin? He wants you to bask in the inner peace that comes from knowing this.  

It’s a new day when you realize that God has come to you to take you off the stove. 

(text copyright 2012 by Marty Kaarre)