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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Throttle it Back!

11A fool expresses all his emotions,
   but a wise person controls them.
(Proverbs 29:11)

The New International version states it this way:  "Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end."  I guess that whichever way we consider this, the fact is that a fool is one who gives "full vent" to their anger.  That makes me among those that can be included in the list of "foolish" - as there have been times when my emotions have ruled over my reason!  "Full vent" is often the place of the greatest harm - the greatest potential for damage.  

I have a pressure cooker that I use of occasion.  It is a newer one, so it is safer than the "old ones" from my youth.  Yet, I have a healthy respect for the damage that giving "full vent" to the little steam hole at the top can do.  Do you know how I developed that "respect" for that small hole?  I removed the stopper while it was under full pressure!  Let me just say that my kitchen was a disaster!  I had pressure cooker juices from the roast all over the place - ceiling, stove, floor, walls!  No easy clean-up there!

Our anger can leave just as much "damage" in its wake!  When we allow emotions to "rule" over our reason, we are like the pressure cooker, under full pressure, that is allowed to "spew" its contents all over the unsuspecting and undeserving!  In another translation, it says that a wise man (or woman) "learns" to control their anger.  That was quite illuminating to me - control is learned, not automatic!

In fact, emotions are often the FIRST thing we deal with in life.  Learning to not give them "full control" is a process.  Just as I learned to not remove that small weight from that small hole in the top of the pressure cooker, we must learn to not give "full vent" to our negative emotions.  Don't miss what I implied there - it is a small hole by which something of huge force escapes!  In the display of our anger, it does not require a huge "rent" in our character to allow it to give "full vent".  It is just like that tiny hole on the pressure cooker!

I think I do a better job today with the control of my emotions than I did in my youth, but it was a process of learning.  The "learning" came at the expense of some that were in the path of my "venting" though!  So, even though I have learned now, I left "affected" people in my wake.  The quicker we learn the destruction of giving "full vent", the less we will leave damaged relationships in our wake!  

Don't get me wrong...I am not fully there yet!  I just am aware that "full vent" is not going to accomplish what really needs to be accomplished.  That night when the pressure cooker "spewed" all over the kitchen, we eventually ate supper...without any gravy!