Lifelines: Enablers

Enablers have invaded the church. They are cloaked in robes of compassion in the midst of the saints. That harmless appearance conceals problems that can evade even their notice. They may not even know who they are, but Satan certainly does and uses them to his advantage. Take caution lest you fall under their influence.

Enablers are not new to our generation. In fact, they have plagued humanity since the beginning of time. Plagued may be the wrong word since they are seldom unpleasant. They may be our best friend or spouse with good motives but lousy results. Satan played the role in the garden. He sounded like he had Eve’s best interest at heart and provided all of the tools for her to reach a terrible conclusion. That is what enablers do. It may not be their intent, but the outcome is the same. They make sin easy.

Peter almost took the bait and became an enabler. He tried. The Lord offered up a realistic view of what lay in the future for Him, and it was not pleasant (Matt. 16:21-23). Peter had a good heart but the wrong idea. If he would have had his way, he would have talked Jesus out of the suffering and enabled Him to side-step the plan of God. Self-denial, cross-bearing and Christ-following is a challenging journey, but there is no other route. Enablers tell us that there is an easier way. Their concern may be admirable, but their advice is wrong…dead wrong.

“Surely a loving God would not….” Fill in the blank. Usually, it has to do with the consequences of sin. That was Satan’s strategy (Genesis 3:4) from the start and still is; only now he uses a human voice. Theirs is a theology of disobedience without consequences. Paul warned of it (Ephesians 5:6). Our self-indulgent society leaves little room for the stern side of God. They ignore the flood, forget Sodom and Gomorrah and learn little from Old Testament history. Enablers seldom see beyond John 3:16.

Enablers feed our weaknesses. They provide us with excuses not to try harder, do better and be stronger. Peter would have steered Jesus away from the pain. Satan offered Eve a cost-free way to disobey and build her self-esteem at the same time. The Lord resisted, and Eve did not. Which one will be our role-model?