The idiom pot stirrer came about in the mid-twentieth century. Although I can’t find evidence that it originated in the south, it certainly sounds like it did. A pot stirrer is someone who adds drama, stress or confusion to every situation. They stir the pot every chance they get. You have probably thought of a few already.
Let’s turn to God’s Word to get some perspective on modern-day pot stirrers. I am a very vocal person who delights in getting my words out frequently. So, when I read passages that tell me to “live a quiet life”, I get my toes stepped on. But then I refer to the passage in Hebrews 10 that says, “don’t shrink back” and I feel like fist bumping the air again.
So which is it, are Christians supposed to be vocal or be quiet little moral mice? Well, first, we must look at those verses in context, not in a way that makes me feel better. When Hebrews tells us not to shrink back, it gives us examples earlier in chapter 10 like: HOLD to hope, PROFESS he who is faithful, SPUR one another on to do good, MEET together, and ENCOURAGE one another (verses 23-25).
All of these verbs can include using our voice, but none of them describe a pot stirrer. The pot stirrer gets attention in 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12. We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.
Younger women who are widowed are even advised in 1 Timothy 5 to remarry so that they won’t become pot stirrers. Besides they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to. I can’t imagine why Paul singled out women as being a pot stirrer, can you?
So far, we have learned that: (1) The Biblical pot stirrer was called “busybody” (2) Idleness is a precursor to pot stirring (3) being quiet is referring to quieting our idle chatter that tears down instead of building up. We must admit that much of modern day pot stirring is done on social media. The fact that pot stirring is accomplished on the keyboard does not make it any less destructive.
Perhaps you are not a pot stirrer, but how do you respond to the pot stirrers? Honestly, sometimes, the pot stirrer effectively get me anxious to fire off a well-worded zinger. The Holy Spirit wins every time though and I wind up just scrolling past as I roll my eyes. Stirring anyone’s pot is fruitless and frankly Christians, we should be so much about the business of spreading the gospel, encouraging others and persevering in the faith to have time or desire to stir pots.
Whatever is TRUE
Whatever is NOBLE
Whatever is RIGHT
Whatever is PURE
Whatever is LOVELY
Whatever is ADMIRABLE
Whatever is PRAISEWORTHY
Think about such things. Philippians 4:8
A well-worded, opinionated comment did not make the list of fruitful things God wants us to fill our mind with. Strong-minded believers do not waste energy on adding stress or confusion; rather they bring clarity by speaking up with the integrity of the Lord. If we are going to stir thing up, then let’s stir hearts with the message that Christ came so that all may have abundant life!