Friday, February 17, 2012


My family can be so inspiring! I hear things they say and know that one day it will be in one of my writings. This is yet another conversation that held great opportunity for landing right here. Thank you to my family who keep material heading my way.

Joy has had a tough year. With the arrival of a new baby brother, her prominent place in this world has dropped significantly. It’s not that she isn’t loved any more than she always has been, but a baby needs a lot more attention and care than a 5 year-old.  As with any other child, it brought out some undesirable behavior. And if you’ve gone through this, you know exactly what I mean.

Each day brought misbehavior, stubbornness, punishment, and reconciliation. It was a continual cycle. One that rarely ended. Bethany, Joy’s mom, on one occasion told Joy that “she knew the right buttons to push” that would make Bethany mad. And as I’ve stated in a previous writing, Joy hears and remembers what we say to her.

Bethany and Joy were headed to the store. Bethany told Joy that if she behaved, she would be rewarded with some small trinket. Joy was so excited. Then Joy asked, “Mommy, can you turn off your buttons?”

I know you are laughing as hard as Bethany did when Joy first said it and as much as I did when I first heard it. She is so smart! She knows not to misbehave. Why she continues to do so is difficult to understand. But she does, and she tries to get out of trouble by using her understanding of the situation.

 What or who pushes your buttons? Is it the person sitting in the cubicle next to you? Or what about the driver who cannot be patient and insists on driving recklessly? Is it the way the mail carrier puts your mail in your mailbox? Or maybe a rude sales clerk or waitress? Whatever it might be, it’s important that we know what pushes our buttons and then learn how to control what happens after the buttons are pushed.

God has given us His Spirit, His Holy Spirit to reside within us. With the Holy Spirit, we are able to push aside those feelings when our buttons are pushed. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can live at peace with those who push our buttons. And Scripture tells us that that is exactly what we are to do.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12: 18)

“…Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace…” (2 Corinthians 13:11)

“…God has called us to live in peace.” (1 Corinthians 7:15)

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)

We can also look at Galatians 5:22-23 to see the fruit we are to produce with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Peace and self-control show up on this list. Combined with the rest of the mentioned fruit, we are able to do what God has called us to do.

We are called to live in peace. We are called to do our part. We are called to not let the button pushers of this world get to us. I know it is not easy. I’ve been there. But through prayer and the Holy Spirit helping me with my attitude, it was possible. It is possible. Can you turn your buttons off?

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


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