Stir the Pot

Written by Erik Gernand

Have you ever known someone who likes to “stir the pot”?

The Urban Dictionary defines the phrase like this:

“Someone who loves to proliferate the tension and drama between 2 or more feuding people/groups in public to get a raise of people in hopes of starting a [storm] of drama and uncomfortable conflict, sometimes for personal gain but oftentimes just for the thrill of confrontation.”

You probably know someone like this. But I wonder if every once in a while you and I find ourselves subconsciously drifting into the “stir the pot” territory. Are there times we’re attracted to other people’s conflict like moths to a flame?

Maybe you find yourself here in conversations regarding political preferences. Maybe it’s the comment section in Facebook fights. Or maybe it’s on the phone with your mom and your aunt in the middle of a family feud.

It’s in these moments, when we’re tempted to stir the pot, where we have a choice about what kind of world we’re going to help make with our words. The easy route is to feed the negativity and stir in things like conflict and gossip. But you and I don’t have to stir negative ingredients into those situations. There are other things to stir into tense situations in which we often find ourselves.

What if instead we use those opportunities to stir in peace, kindness, grace and goodwill?

The kinds of things we stir into conversations like this directly leads to the kinds of meals we’ll all be eating together later. We might as well make something we’ll all enjoy!

You’ll have many chances this week to be a troublemaker or a peacemaker with the way you speak with others and about others.

Today, may you choose to stir in something good.

perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. – Proverbs 16:28

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. – Matthew 5:9