Insight on the News
Mild Answer Best
● In recent years, many psychiatrists have taught that the best way to handle a disagreeable situation is to vent your anger. Some recommended shouting, screaming or even throwing things. It was thought that this would be better for the individual than trying to control his feelings. As a Denver “Post” article by Barbara Varro stated: “We were always told that venting hostility, instead of repressing it, is a way to prevent bad things like ulcers and heart attacks.”
However, the Creator, Jehovah God, who made humans and knows best how they should act for the greatest benefit to themselves and others, long ago stated: “An answer, when mild, turns away rage, but a word causing pain makes anger to come up.” (Prov. 15:1) Thus, God’s Word recommended “self-control,” noting that “a calm heart is the life of the fleshly organism.”—Gal. 5:23; Prov. 14:30.
Now Dr. Milton Layden of Johns Hopkins University Medical School acknowledges that expressing hostile feelings is counterproductive, because “hostility is contagious and it comes back to us.” It only ‘puts fuel on the fire,’ making matters worse. He states: “Remember that hostility gets you nowhere. Humility can get you anywhere.” Thus, the “Post” article concludes: “Don’t scream. Don’t shout. Don’t punch someone, or something, to vent your hostility. . . . You have to relax and not react with anger.”
● The practice of psychiatry has come under sharp criticism in recent times. Regarding its effectiveness, “U.S. News & World Report” states: “Results are sometimes questionable. Many patients report emerging from months of treatment no better, and sometimes worse, than before. Others claim some psychiatrists offer little more than ordinary advice and comfort available free from friends.”
The magazine adds: “Society as a whole may have suffered from some psychiatric practices. There is a widespread feeling, rightly or wrongly, that the anxieties of modern America have been increased by psychiatric advice that often encourages an individual to ‘do his own thing’ even if it breaks up families and causes other disruptions.”
A basic problem with psychiatry is that there is no standard of truth or treatment. Opinions vary from psychiatrist to psychiatrist, so that one may give advice that is just the opposite from that given by another.
Where can the best mental health counsel be found, counsel that is truthful, that has stood the test of time, and is consistent with the way in which we are created mentally and physically? In the Bible, God’s inspired guide for mankind. “Your word is a lamp to my foot, and a light to my roadway,” said the psalmist. (Ps. 119:105) Yes, “the fear of Jehovah is the start of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Most Holy One is what understanding is.”—Prov. 9:10.
Hence, “the one listening to me,” says God, “will reside in security and be undisturbed from dread of calamity.”—Prov. 1:33.
● Scripps-Howard religious writer George R. Plagenz states that the clergy in mainline churches are leading their flocks astray. He observes: “Churchgoers are being victimized by many mainline churches in what could be called the biggest confidence [fraudulent] game in the country. Poor sermons and dull worship services are only part of the swindle. Much more serious is the honesty gap.”
As an example, Plagenz states: “The pastor who doesn’t believe in the [Bible’s] miracles may still preach about them. . . . he says to himself, why borrow trouble by announcing he doesn’t take them literally?”
Why such clergy disbelief in the Word of God? He states: “Because most ministers learn theology from disbelieving scholars.”
In his day, Jesus said of such religious teachers: “Blind guides is what they are. If, then, a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matt. 15:14) He showed that they originated, not with God, but with “the father of the lie,” Satan the Devil.—John 8:44.