The Right Way to Disarm People Who Push Your Buttons


How do you deal with the “crazy makers” who push your buttons?


The Bible talks about this in the book of Proverbs. The first way is this:

1. I calculate the cost of anger.

Before you allow yourself to get mad back, you calculate what you’re going to lose. Calculate the cost of anger. You’re less likely to get angry when somebody’s pushing your buttons if you realize there’s always a price tag for me getting angry back. The Bible is very, very specific about uncontrolled anger. Let me show you some verses out of Proverbs.  

Proverbs 29:22 “An angry person starts fights, and a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.”

2. I always lose when I lose my temper.  

You can lose respect. You can lose the love of your family. You can lose your job by losing your temper. 

How many kids have become alienated from their dads or their moms because of anger out of control? How many people have been alienated from a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a husband, a wife or a friend because somebody lost their cool? Anger destroys relationships faster than anything else.

Proverbs 14:29 “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.”

3. I look past their words to their pain.

You look past their words to their pain. You don’t respond to what they’re saying. You look at why they’re saying what they’re saying.  

Proverbs 19:11 “Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.”  

I’ve said this many times: Hurt people hurt people. When somebody is hurting you it’s because they’ve been hurt and they are still hurting. When somebody is rude, bitter, unkind, sarcastic, mean spirited, arrogant, attacking, they are shouting with all of their behaviors, “I need massive doses of love!  I do not feel loved! I do not feel secure.” Because secure, loved people don’t act that way.

4. I think before reacting.  

When somebody starts to push your buttons and they want to irritate you,  think before you react. You think before you speak. Because anger control is largely a matter of mouth control. You don’t respond impulsively.

Proverbs 13:16 “Wise people think before they act; fools don’t.”  

Proverbs 29:11 “Fools vent their anger. But the wise quietly hold it back.”  

What people don’t realize is that anger is contagious. You can catch it. So you have to slow it down.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed this but when you get loud others get loud. When others get loud, you get loud.

Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”  

5. I ask God for help.

Psalm 141:3, “Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips.”  

That’s a great verse to put in your mind so when you start to get angry you can remember this verse. The key is to be filled with God’s Spirit.

Galatians 5:22 “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”   

That’s the fruit of God’s Spirit on our lives. I have found that when I’m filled with myself, when I’m filled with Jerry, almost anything can upset me. But if I’m filled with God’s Spirit, almost nothing will upset me. Because I’m filled with his love, his joy, his peace.

How do you get filled with God’s Spirit? Don’t make it too complicated. It just means you depend on God instead of depending on yourself. You pray that very simple two-word prayer: “Help me.” Pray that prayer. “Help me, God.  I’m depending on you. I’m not depending on myself.” As you do that, you’ll find as you ask God for help that he will fill you with his Spirit.

The three things that cause anger Jesus can heal – hurt, frustration and fear.  Jesus can heal your hurting heart with his love. Jesus can replace your frustrated heart with his peace. Jesus can replace your insecure heart with his power.  


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