There once was a teakettle that had a problem. Day after day he sat alone on the stove top, having driven all his friends into hiding through his incessant spouting off. No pot nor pan could stand the shrill whistle the teakettle made each time he heated up. What was the poor teakettle to do?
At first, he blamed his environment. If it were not for the stove top, he would not be so heated. After all, when the stove top was cool, the teakettle could be as quiet as any pot or pan. It must be the fault of his nurture.
If that were so, why was he the only one who spouted off, and did so every time? After all, who had ever heard of a pan whistling or a pot hissing? In fact, since he alone spouted off, the teakettle concluded that it must be in his genes to spout off. According to his therapist, the teakettle ought to accept who he was and to never expect radical change. It must be the fault of his nature.
Granted, both nurture and nature have a powerful influence, but did they necessitate spouting off every time? Surely there must be something the teakettle could do that would help him to resist spouting off. At an anger management class, he learned several techniques for corking his spout. Instead of regarding it as a virtue to always speak his mind, the teakettle learned diplomatic ways to smooth feathers and to avoid issues, even ways to contain the pressure through willpower alone. To be honest, this did cut down on the number of times the teakettle blew up, but when he did, the delayed response led to an even greater mess and one that the rest on the stovetop did not expect. Again, what was the poor teakettle to do?
In desperation, he sought counsel one last time. This time, the teakettle was told that his problem pertained more to what he let come inside of him than to what he let go outside of him. He could not change his environment, nor could he change the fact that he was a teakettle; however, neither of these factors demanded the presence of water. If the teakettle were not full of water, he would not spout off, regardless of the heat applied. Therefore, the teakettle learned that the solution pertained more to the lid than to the spout, more to his inner thoughts than to his outer spout. If only humans would learn this insight, and receive grace from God through Christ to do it!
“The churning of milk brings forth butter, and the wringing of the nose brings forth blood; so the forcing of wrath brings forth strife.”
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”