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Up Way Publications 35th Anniversary
Message of the Month

Volume 06 No. 06 June 4, 2004

What Kind of Enabler are You?
By Samuel M. Smith

When I was president of an anti-drug abuse education group in Florida, we often spoke of people who were "enablers" for drug addicts. Technically, Ido not know if "enabler" is really a proper word, but it means a person who enables another person to do anything, whether financially, morally or by physical strength.
Everyone enables someone else to do something, whether good or bad, uplifting or damning, godly or ungodly. What kind of enabler are you?
Some people consciously devote themselves to enabling others to do good things such as feed the hungry, provide housing for the poor caring for orphans or widows or providing employment for those who otherwise might not be able to secure employment.  Others enable drug addicts to buy drugs and destroy themselves.  Other people enable missionaries to go to foreign fields well equipped to reach the lost in their mission area while still others enable terrorism. All of these people are enablers, some for good and some for evil.  Which kind of enabler are you?

While working with anti-drug abuse education,  I learned that many parents of drug abusers were in fact the abuser's enabler, though many would have vehemently denied that fact.  So how were they enablers? Maybe they left cash lying around the house where it could easily be picked up and not seriously missed or maybe they simply handed their children money without even asking what it was to be used for.  Of course, in a short time it was in the pocket or bank account of the drug dealer or pusher and the beloved and usually still trusted child, teenager or young adult was "higher than a kite" on "crack" or "ice" or marijuana or heroin or other "recreational" drug. Still others were "enablers" by always hiring the best lawyers and getting their children or other family menber out of jail when they got caught with illegal amounts of illegal drugs. And nearly all these enablers began by simply neglecting to supervise and control their children from an early age. 

But now how about a "good" enabler? A good enabler may work a job and be what we commonly refer to as just a "lay member" of his or her church, but whenever  a missionary comes around, he or she signs on as a "Partner in Missions" or a "Mission Co-Laborer" and makes a regular monthly contribution to a whole list of mission workers at home and abroad, thus enabling them to go and preach the gospel. 

Others, such as Up Way Publications and Followers of Jesus Christ Ministries may arrange the translation of gospel literature in many languages of the world enabling missionaries, both long term appointed missionaries and short term "tourist visa" missionaries to have literature proclaiming the original gospel of Jesus Christ and His immediate followers to give to peoples in foreign lands.  Some of these missionaries feel a call to a particular place while in prayer and God miraculously arranges for their trip without the support of any denomination and sometimes without much backing of their local churches, either. Literature to give out to the people to whom they are going would be prohibitively expensive without an enabler to provide it to them. 

Another enabler might be one who is always saying negative and bad things and things that discourage faith and trust in God, thereby directly enabling Satan a toehold in the life of the person they have driven to discouragement or a feeling of hopelessness or uselessness.  Such an enabler may cause many, especially among newer converts to backslide and enable Satan to take them down the broad road to destruction with him.

Still another enabler might be one who always looks at the bright side of things and reminds all around them  that "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world," and "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." Such an enabler enables the Holy Spirit to empower and encourage and yes, enable the one being encouraged to build faith in God and to really see miraculous deliverance, healing and other blessings. 

So an enabler may be anyone who knows and has any contact whatever with anyone else.  If you encourage sin, then you are enabling Satan to 

tempt the person you are promoting sin to. If you make a coworker or fellow employee or neighbor or spouse or offspring or sibling feel they are hopeless, worthless or no good, you are enabling Satan to test and tempt any faith and trust they do have in God. But on the other hand, if you are always smiling and encouraging holiness, purity, righteousness and trust in God, you are enabling the Holy Spirit in that other person's life. 

Now, so far, we have talked about the negative and the positive enablers. But is there such a thing as someone who is both a negative and a positive enabler?  What about the person who encourages holiness and righteous living, but is so militantly legalistic about it that the person or persons he or she is dealing with feel(s) like they cannot possibly attain the level of holiness and righteous living required to enter heaven or to see God?  Although enabling righteousness in word, they may actually be enabling Satan to make the person feel defeated so why try, and they give up, thus actually enabling Satan to bring in discouragement and sin by an overzealous promotion of holiness.  This is someone whose words and intents would enable righteousness and holiness, but in fact, much as the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' day, by the way they go about to promote and enable the good, they actually enable and promote discouragement and despair and ultimately sin and unrighteousness. 
Indeed, Saul of Tarsus and Athanatius of Alexandria, Egypt were both examples of this, but while Saul had a real conversion experience and became a real enabler of righteousness and truth, Athanatius promoted his errors until his death, thus enabling well-meaning zealots to persecute and even kill more real followers of Jesus Christ than all pagans put together. 

So please, my Christian friend, look at your own life. Are those who see you and know you on a daily basis favorably impressed with your sincere godly love and compassion for all and are 

they enabled to feel encouraged in the Lord, to "Be strong in the Lord and in the Power of His might," or do they feel that you are so much her than they could ever be that they needn't even try?  Do others see "Christ in you," enabling "the hope of glory?" Or do you take extreme positions about Television or Holiness or clothing standards that cause others to avoid you and your church whenever possible, thus enabling Satan a toehold in their lives?  Or maybe you are a Fundamentalist who takes scriptures out of their intended context to promote an easy believism plan of salvation that is no plan of salvation at all, thus enabling Satan to vaccinate all who follow your doctrine against real conversion and Bible salvation. Maybe you hold orthodoxy above the Bible and insist upon more than one person of God, who is described repeatedly from Genesis toRevelation as an Omnipotent, Omniprresent, Omniscient Holy Spirit who at one point in human history robed Himself in human flesh, took upon Himself the form of sinful man and became the Lamb of God, "slain from the foundation of the world," then, when His work on earth was done, returned to glory to His Father Holy Spirit in a glorified human body. By this insistence,  you enable Satan to cause many to be confused about who Jesus really is and was and what and why He did it. And worse still, those who hold to a triple god view go out of their way to wage war on those who insist upon Biblical Spiritual accuracy to the point of actual hatred and persecution, while true followers of Jesus Christ do not hate those who teach the unscriptural "Orthodox" view, but pray for them and love them with a godly agapé love, trying to enable the Holy Spirit to show them God's truth.

So again and finally, What Kind of Enabler are You? Pray about it and think about it and pray about it some more, then let the Holy Spirit enable you to be a good enabler all the time.

S. M. S.
Please see: Questions Trinitarians Cannot Answer
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