Who's Pushing Your buttons

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One of the things that I have noticed over the years is how quickly people can flip you from being happy to angry.
Have you ever noticed that? You could be having a great day… the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming… You feel great. And then some crazy-maker walks into your life and in about 1.2 seconds you are frustrated and upset. They know how to push your buttons.
So if we are going to learn how to get along with others, especially during the holidays, we will have to learn how to deal with people who push our buttons.
Let me give you some facts about anger.
The average woman loses her temper 3 times per week. The average man 6 times.
Women get angry more often at people… men at things...
Women are more verbal with their anger… men more physical.
Single adults express anger twice as often as married adults.
The place where you are most likely to express anger is at home… we become more angry with those we love than with strangers.
Science has discovered that there 51 illnesses caused by anger. In fact proctologist have discovered that anger can literally create a pain i the rear.
Anger is not always an inappropriate response. Uncontrolled anger is. But anger is not. There are a lot of situations where anger is appropriate and actually shows that you love someone...
Someone tries to hurt your kids or grand kids… spouse
You may become angry at injustice in our world...
You may become angry at greed… racism… when people do others harm (rape, murder, incest)
In many cases anger shows love. Anger is not always bad. Remember we were made in God’s image and if we can become angry… guess what… he can too.
In the Bible God or Jesus becomes angry over 375 times. There is righteous anger and unrighteous anger.
The issue is not to get rid of all anger, but to express it in non-destructive ways.
Ephesians 4:26 NIV
26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
Obviously, we can be angry and not sin. Selfish anger is always sinful… uncontrolled anger is always sinful. The bible says that sometimes anger can be the right response.
Look at these verses...
Proverbs 25:28 TEV
28 If you cannot control your anger, you are as helpless as a city without walls, open to attack.
People will manipulate you and push your buttons… and control you.
When you tell someone, “You make me so mad.” You are admitting that they have control over you. You are telling them that they have the ability to control your emotions.
Proverbs 12:16 NLT
16 A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.
If you are wise, you will let it roll off of your back. Fools lose it …
Wise people stay calm...
Proverbs 16:32 NLT
32 Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.
IOW, it’s more important to be able to control your emotions than it is to be a powerful person.
Anger is a learned response so it can be un-learned.
You learned it from other people… maybe your parents.. TV… internet… video games… who know. But you can learn appropriate ways to deal with your anger.
I want to look at Four Ways people express anger…

Ways People Express Anger

1. The machine guns (Gen 4:5, 8)

They just mow you down… they let you have it. There is no doubt that they are mad. They express it … cuss… throw things… yell … hit… They explode. They are like walking time bombs… You know they will explode, you just don’t know when.
Modern Examples: Woody Hayes - Ohio State - he hit an opposing player and ended a great coaching career. Alec Baldwin has had problems. Charlie Sheen
Example: Cain
Killed Abel.
Genesis 4:5 NLT
5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.
Genesis 4:8 NLT
8 One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him.
Underline Attacked - This is the response to the first form of anger. You attack. Most people who express anger this way immediately regret it, but it’s too late… damage has been done.

2. The Mutes

These are the opposites fo the Machine gunners… These just shut up. They don’t become violent, they just become silent. They hold it in and pretend not to be mad.
I see you are angry… no I’m not!
You hold it in… it’s like a crock pot, it simmers and burns… you swallow your anger.
Here is the problem: When you swallow your anger, your body keeps score. People who hold it in get HBP, ulcers, chronic pain, headaches…
Example: Jeremiah
He is known as the weeping prophet. He was angry about what was happening in society but he held it in...
Jeremiah 15:17–18 NLT
17 I never joined the people in their merry feasts. I sat alone because your hand was on me. I was filled with indignation at their sins. 18 Why then does my suffering continue? Why is my wound so incurable? Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook, like a spring that has gone dry.”
He wondered why his suffering would not end… because he held it in.
Are you holding on to un-expressed anger?
Your body was not designed to hold in anger so when you do, you are hurting your body. Holding anger in is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. It’s not what you eat that will kill you but what’s eating you.

3. The Martyrs

These folks hold pity parties… they pout. Martyrs are passive and tend to punish themselves. When some crazymaker comes at them, the don’t think what’s wrong with that person, they think what’s wrong with me?You may have a crazy relative, but you blame yourself.
A strong sign that you are a martyr is depression. One of the causes of depression is frozen anger. When you hold anger in you become frozen where you are. You become a martyr.
Example: Prodigal’s Brother
He is mad that his brother blew his portion and then comes back and his dad throws a party for him.
Luke 15:28 NLT
28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him,
Have you got someone in your family like this? They will make everyone miserable because if they are not happy, no on will be happy. They are martyrs and they ruin all the family parties.

4. The Manipulators

The motto of the manipulator is don’t get mad… get even.
Manipulators won’t tell you they are angry to your face. They will do it subtly… slyly… sarcastically with indirect jabs and put downs.
They do things to sabotage you and make you look bad… but do it so they don’t get caught.
Religious people are, unfortunately, good at this. They say stuff like, I was grieved in my spirit. What does that mean… I was angry.
Example: Pharisees
They were beyond angry at Jesus.
Luke 6:11 NLT
11 At this, the enemies of Jesus were wild with rage and began to discuss what to do with him.
None of these reaction types are helpful: Machine Gun, Mute, Martyr, Manipulator. None are good and helpful.

Strategy to Disarm Your Button Pushers

1. Calculate the cost of anger.

Before you allow yourself to get mad, think about what you will lose. There is a cost to your anger and you are less likely to blow it when you know there is a cost.
The bible is very specific about uncontrolled anger…
Proverbs 29:22 NCV
22 An angry person causes trouble; a person with a quick temper sins a lot.
You will get into more trouble and sin more often if you allow yourself to become angry.
Proverbs 15:18 TEV
18 Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace.
Don’t get into arguments. When you gret angry, it’s easier for your buttons to be pushed and get into an argument.
Proverbs 14:29 The Living Bible
29 A wise man controls his temper. He knows that anger causes mistakes.
Proverbs 14:17 TEV
17 People with a hot temper do foolish things; wiser people remain calm.
If you get angry, there is a cost. You will get into trouble, you will sin, you will cause arguments, you will make mistakes and do foolish things.
Most people don’t want to become angry when their buttons are pushed. They know they lose respect, the love of family, their job, and your health.
Parents… coaches… bosses do not use anger to motivate people. In the long run anger causes more anger.
Proverbs 14:29 NLT
29 People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.
So Number 1 - calculate your anger.

2. Look past their words to their pain.

Don’t respond to what they are saying, respond to why they are saying what they are saying.
Proverbs 19:11 NLT
11 Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.
You are sensible if you look past the words to the pain inside the person.
Hurting people hurt people. When someone is trying to hurt you it’s usually because they are hurting themselves.
Unkind people are people who have never felt kindness. Unloving people are people who feel unloved.
When somebody is rude, bitter, unkind, sarcastic, mean spirited, arrogant, attacking, they are shouting with all of their behaviors that they need massive doses of love. They don’t feel loved… they don’t feel secure. Secure, loved people don’t act that way. They are not rude and judgemental… unkind… nor are they attacking.
The person who feels loved and secure is generous and gracious to other people. When they are mean and cranky, they are shouting that they are in pain.
You have to decide whether or not you are going to overcome evil with good or will you retaliate. When you attack someone it puts below their level. When you get even it puts you on their level. When you respond with love and kindness, it puts you above them. When you respond with love, you look past their words to their pain.
You have to determine that you will not let anyone make you their enemy. They may hate you, but you will not hate them back. Just do the Jesus thing and look past the words to the pain.
There is a myth that says when your bucket is full of anger that you have to express it… then you will feel better. That doesn’t work. You will just produce more anger. Anger begets anger.
Studies show that aggression creates more aggression. guy in the psy ward… got angrier and angrier. Then the angry outburst become a bad habit and stronghold in your life.

3. Think before reacting.

When someone begins pushing your buttons and they want to irritate you, they may do it visibly or invisibly. Think before you react… before you speak… push the button…
A lot of anger control is mouth control.
Proverbs 13:16 NLT
16 Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness.
Proverbs 29:11 NLT
11 Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.
This literally means he holds it back and cools his anger.
Here are three questions you can ask yourself while you cool down.
Why am I angry?
What do I really want? Eventhough they are pushing your buttons, what is i that you really want.
How can I get it?
You can’t ask these questions if you speak first and then think… Think before you react. Ask these questions.
If you will do that, you will see beyond the hurt and see that their anger is caused by one of three things.
Hurt. When someone is pushing your buttons and they are angry, they may be hurt.
When you get hurt you get angry. If you hit your thumb with a hammer, you get angry… at the hammer.... It’s not the hammer’s fault.
Anger makes you defensive. When someone is wounded, they get angry.
2,. frustration.
When you become frustrated, you get angry. When you are forced to wait, you get frustrated. The DMV is where the angriest people in town are on any given day… you have to wait
When you can’t control a situation, it makes us angry. Any parent who has held a baby that cried for 3 straight hours… you get frustrated and angry.
The higher a control person you are the more prone to anger you are. Because most of life is out of control. You can’t control your spouse, your kids, your boss… even yourself most of the time.
3. Fear -
When we are afraid or feel threatened, we fight back. animal cornered will fight back
This why delay is a great cure for anger. It allows you to think before you react. Thomas Jefferson said if you are angry, count to 100. So if you are angry and someone sends you a text… don’t immediately respond to it. Cool down first. Think before you react.
The more we stop and think about a person… a situation, the more we will understand and the more we will be understanding. The more you understand Husband, wife, girlfirend) the more you will be understanding to that person.
What you may not realize is this… anger is contagious.
Proverbs 15:1 TEV
1 A gentle answer quietens anger, but a harsh one stirs it up.
You can calm a situation just by talking calm and not yelling. But the louder you talk the angrier you and the other person become. When you respond with equal force to someone who attacks you, it will escalate.
Proverbs 17:27 NLT
27 A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.
Don’t talk all the time.

4. Ask God for Help

You need help so ask God to help you.
Psalm 141:3 NCV
3 Lord, help me control my tongue; help me be careful about what I say.
If I squeeze a tube of toothpaste, what comes out? Toothpaste.
When you squeeze your life what comes out? Whatever is inside.
So the problem we have when it comes to our relationships with the people who push our buttons, I can’t blame them… it’s me. It’s within me.
Pressure always reveals what’s inside you. You say something stupid or hurtful and wonder where that came from… it came from your heart. We don’t like to admit it, but it did… it came from within.
They key is to change your heart. How do you do that? You allow the Holy Spirit of God to fill your heart and life.
Galatians 5:22 NLT
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
That’s the fruit of HS in our lives. When you are full of God’s Spirit, almost nothing can make you angry. When you do not have the HS in your life, all kinds of bad things invade your life.
We try to hide it, but the fact is that the dirty secret in millions of homes is out of control anger. Each year in USA 4 to 5 million wives are beaten… unacceptable.
Each year in USA, over 10 million children are beaten by their parents… unacceptable.
Side - if you are being abused… hurt by someone else, please let us know. We can help you.
The first thing you have to do to be free is to own up to it. Then you can relearn habits.
The most important thing you can do to fight those who push your buttons is this one...

Base Your identity in Jesus

You have to change what you build your identity on. You have to stop placing your identity in your looks, your stuff, your house, your job, your spouse, kids…
If you build your identity on anything that can be taken away from you, you’re going to be insecure and insecurity is at the root of your anger. Until you start feeling secure about yourself people are going to be able to push your buttons.
When you know who you are and whose you are, people can’t push your buttons. They can’t get to you. Anger and insecurity go together. The more insecure you feel the more angry you will be.
A terrorist and a member of the redneck milita have the same problem. They are afraid fo the world. They can’t control it but they try. It’s the exact same fear coming out in two different ways.
Base your identity on Jesus.
Proverbs 29:25 The Message
25 The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.
If you are always worrying what other people think, you have an emotional disability. You are disabled if you are always worrying about who likes you and who doesn’t.
How does God help me manage my anger? He changes the heart. A harsh tongue reveals an angry heart. A negative tongue reveals a fearful heart. It just shows what’s inside of me. A boasting tongue reveals an insecure heart. It’s always the heart. An overactive tongue reveals an unsettled heart. A judgmental tongue reveals a guilty heart. The most judgmental people are those who feel guilty the most. A critical tongue reveals a bitter heart. It’s always showing what’s inside. A filthy tongue reveals an impure heart.
On the other hand, an encouraging tongue reveals a happy heart; and a gentle tongue reveals a loving heart; and a controlled tongue reveals a peaceful heart.
What you need to become immune to the button pushers in your life is a heart transplant… a new heart. That’s what God gives you at salvation. He gives you a brand new heart.
All of a sudden you are not trying to find your worth and value in your job… your relationships… but in your relationship with God. Then that person cannot push your buttons any longer.
Ephesians 1:4 NLT
4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
How should you respond to this verse? By letting God become the center of YOUR Universe… He becomes the cnter of your identity.
Matthew 5:48 The Message
48 “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”
When you are living out your God-given identity you will be generous and you will be gracious to others and no matter how much they push your buttons you’re not pushing back, because you’re living out your God-given identity. They don’t determine who you are. God determines who you are.
If you have prayed to receive Jesus, one of the best ways to begin your walk with Christ is by being baptized. explain
When you are baptized after inviting Jesus into your life, you are telling others that you follow Jesus.
Romans 6:4 The Living Bible
4 Your old sin-loving nature was buried with him by baptism when he died; and when God the Father, with glorious power, brought him back to life again, you were given his wonderful new life to enjoy.
1 Corinthians 12:13 NLT
13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
It doesn’t matter… rich or poor… good looking or not… we are all been baptized into one body by one Spirit.
Are you tired of having people push your buttons?
Maybe you need to give your life to Jesus...
Maybe you need to ask Jesu for help in ignoring the button pushers...
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