Pushing Buttons

Up until now, your My One Word experience was progressing quite well. You are probably encouraged to see the growth taking place in your character. Everything has been rosy with the attention on you and the personal benefits of this experiment. However, this may have changed as you read the focus was going to shift to others. Then we took it a step further and you may have halted in your tracks. Not only do you have to devote all of October to others, your entire focus is suppose to be directed to a single individual the most challenging person in your life.

If youre like me then chances are good that youve tried your hardest to ignore last weeks homework assignment. The reasons why are probably the same as well. It took us no time at all to come up with a name. Instantly this persons image came to mind and almost simultaneously you cringe.

For me, its a guy who has somehow mastered the art of pushing my buttons. Hes no stranger. In fact, hes a close friend of mine and we actually get along for 90% of the time. Its the other 10% where we run into trouble. Being a friend, he knows me well. This works to my advantage and disadvantage. Over the years hes figured out which buttons to push, and the exact sequence of maneuvers to create a variety of emotions inside of me. At the first pushing of a button, I find myself getting frustrated, jealous and angry.

I think what grates my nerves the most is the fact that this guy is a know-it-all. Ask him a question and hell give you an answer.  Scratch that. You dont even need to ask. This expert of everything will give you his two cents whether you want the input or not.

It doesnt seem fair that Im devoting an entire year to acknowledge my shortcomings, learn from others and transform my character while it seems this guy hasnt even bothered to change himself. I feel myself getting fired up as I write these words.  Somehow, without even being in the room, he has managed to push my buttons.

Even if he knows the combination to push, in the end they are still my buttons. I own them. They belong to me. Whether I want to acknowledge it or not, I have the ability to control my reaction when buttons are being pushed. This is going to be tough, tougher than you can imagine, but this month I am going to take my one word and apply it to my friend.

I know this friend will always have some of the same attributes, and in part thats why I love him. He reminds me that we are all in process. But if I change my approach towards him, maybe I can change the way he reacts towards me. At the very least maybe I can disarm some old buttons that far too long held a control over me. Hopefully towards the middle of the month my new approach towards my old friend will have an impact on how we interact with one another, and our friendship can grow stronger.

  • Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Which characteristic of love found in this passage do you need to display most to the person you struggle to love? How is this characteristic intertwined with your One Word?
  • Read Philippians 2:1-4. How has coming to grips with the fact that you are a work in progress caused you to extend more grace to others? How has your perspective of others changed?

Are you looking for a way to keep your word in front of you all year long? Register for a My One Word account! One of the key features of a MOW account is an online Word Journal that allows you to capture your thoughts to reflective questions like you see above. You can go back at any time to read your completed journals to see how God has been moving in your life through your word in 2011.  If you already have an account, the questions from this blog have been posted to your Word Journal log in to your account to start your Word Journal today!