Catharsis? – Psalms 4:4

Be angry and do not sin;
on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still.

Author’s note: Reflecting back on this article I wrote years ago, I do acknowledge that there are times when we need to discuss out loud things within us with others who love us and can help us have discernment. Sometimes it helps to ‘process’ things out loud. This type of conversation is not what I am addressing in this short article. I do not believe this type of conversation is bad nor do I view it as catharsis. When I think of catharsis, I am referring to that mentality that says, “Vomit up your anger in order to relieve your stress”. This practice is what I am not convinced is biblical, even today. Just because it may be popular with credentialed experts, does not mean it is from God.

God’s direction, when one is filled with anger, is to lie down and be quiet. This sounds quite strange to our postmodern ears, doesn’t it? Our counselors, for the most part, teach us to “Get it out!'” Yet, aren’t some of our worst problems caused by an open mouth in times of anger?

Raw unfiltered catharsis is man’s idea but doesn’t appear to be God’s. Airing out what is hot within us simply spews our flaming crud onto whoever is around.

It may feel good to throw up on someone else what is brewing and churning within us; however, that does not mean it actually accomplishes any good and boy can it make a mess!

Father God’s instruction is to lie down, be quiet and allow our mind to engage.

White, hot emotion rarely produces anything good in us.

This is the wisdom of God as contrasted with the so-called wisdom of man. Catharsis spreads the effects of the fire. Quiet self control allows Father God to put it out.

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