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My friend listens to me talk for a long time. I finally stop talking and look at her. Will she help me sort through the mess, the misunderstandings, the difficult situation I am in?

She smiles. “Just don’t be quick to push the hate button,” she says.

What a not very nice thing to say. Besides, I don’t have a “hate button.”

But my friend isn’t done.

“When you go to that place where you begin to judge the people in your life according to your own little measurements, whether right or wrong, you start down a path that gets very dangerous. You want your way/judgement to be recognized as the only acceptable one, and you slowly move away from love.

And when you don’t choose to move in love, you move toward hate. And you wind up pushing the hate button.”

What kind of godly counsel is that? I don’t have a hate button. That isn’t me.

But my friend isn’t done.

“Hate buttons don’t start out as hate buttons. They often manifest as little pet peeves at first. They can even be cute at times. Or at least insignificant. Or justified at least. They start out as pesky little things that you let sit on your heart until they become very comfortable there.” 

I really dislike it when he talks so long, when he doesn’t listen, when he doesn’t pick up after himself. I can’t stand it the way she is so self-involved, the way she lets her kids run around, the way she is so stingy with her time and her money. Why does he have to always wear that stupid sweatshirt? Doesn’t he have anything else to wear? And the way he chews, oh my goodness, I can’t even look at him.

Ouch.

“Most hate buttons don’t start out as hate buttons. Just simple little annoyances in your heart that you don’t deal with because your own pride blinds you to them. You feed them here and there when it seems appropriate to do so. You allow them to grow.”

Can’t she see that the way she talks is so mean? is stupid? isn’t right? is wrong? isn’t Christian? is evil? I should call her on the carpet for it. I’m not going to her house next week. Maybe I’ll never speak to her again.

Ouch.

And all of a sudden, I sense the weight of all of those hate buttons I thought I did not have, and they almost choke me. 

But my friend isn’t done.

“How about replacing those with love buttons?”

love button

“You can be real quick at pushing those ones,” she says. “And you can never be wrong. Because people need to be loved, even when they are wrong. Especially when they are wrong. Even when they are total jerks. Even when they don’t deserve it. Especially when they don’t deserve it.”

So he talks too long, and he doesn’t listen, and he won’t pick up after himself.

love button

Love button!

So she’s self-involved, and she lets her kids run around, and she is so stingy with her time and her money. He never changes his shirt. And He chews weird. 

love button

Love button!

“Love buttons have a way of melting people’s hearts. Especially when they are undeserved. The more you push them, the more people soften. And the cool thing is, you wind up realizing you really, truly love pushing those buttons! They do you as much good if not more than those for whom you push them.”

The way she talks is so mean. She needs to be loved, for sure. Let me shower her with kindness. Let me surround her with it. I’ll bring a meal over.”  

Her mean talk doesn’t stand a chance. Neither does she. And neither do I.

Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann

one thousand#604 a new opportunity brought to me by my son

#605 Getting all of my paperwork in order 

#606 my hot, delightful shower this morning 

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 HomeSDG,  Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing HomePlay Dates with GodMonday Musings, Hear it on SundayInspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s StoryInto the WordIn and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday, Titus2Tuesdays, ExtraordinayLessons from IvyDenise in BloomSweet BlessingsFaith Filled Friday, Finding JoyWholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word,

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