Don’t Stir Up, Stir In

ID 128813671 © Dan Grytsku |

Some people like to stir it up. Add some drama, then watch the fallout. 

Reality TV thrives on this kind of strife. 

In real life, the entertainment value drops. Significantly. If you have stirrers in your family, you know how much prayer goes into family get-togethers. Please God, let there be peace!

“For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.” Proverbs 30:33 NIV

Stirring up anger produces strife. Division. Conflict. Here’s how to transition from stirring up to stirring in. 

1. Anger: Anger serves as one of many normal emotions, so don’t feel guilty for having some. Yet James and Paul both warn against sinning in our anger (James 1:19-20; Ephesians 4:26-27).

2. Stirring Up: Proverbs likens stirring up anger to churning butter or causing a nosebleed. If you’ve ever made butter, you know simple stirring won’t get the job done. Violent shaking is required to cause the fat molecules to clump (butter) and the water to separate (buttermilk). Likewise, stirring up anger is rarely accidental. It’s designed to get a reaction. 

3. Stirring In: The churning process is reversible. Butter and buttermilk can become sweet cream once again. How? Gentleness. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Gentleness stirs in, not up. It brings added value, like cream to coffee or ice cream on a piece of pie. 

When tempers flare, stir in some gentleness. 

A hug. 

A kind word. 

A thoughtful gesture. 

Take the situation to a new level, one without strife. 

And if you want to make butter, knock yourself out, but keep some cream handy for stir-ins.

Suggested Activities:

Make butter. 

Add cream to as many dishes as you can think of and see how it enhances the flavor. What’s your favorite combo?