Proverbs 26:4
New International Version
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.

If you are answering a fool according to his folly, you are empowering them.  Usually when someone says something weird, it is just a way to get attention.  I think it is best to just keep you nose down and don’t respond.  I have seen lives changed when someone empowered them.  I have never seen a life changed as a result of a foolish argument.  You empower what you pay attention to.

Once, at a car dealership, I brought in my own computer. (This was in a time before computers were common place in dealerships.)  A low level manager came up to me and said, ‘Oh, btw, don’t look at porn during business hours.’  I thought to myself, ‘okayyyyy???’  He saw the computer as a dirty thing, probably because his heart wasn’t in the right place.  It didn’t even occur to me.  A computer to me, as probably any other true believer, is just a work tool.  You empower what you think about.  I believe that in the 70’s, preachers empowered the computer age by devilizing computers.  You empower what you focus on.

Titus 1:15
New International Version
To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.

Why do people get so angry about innocuous things like movie theaters, computers, internet, facebook, tv, etc?  I know people that see the devil in everything.  It’s almost like they worshipping the wrong guy.  If your eyes are on Jesus only, you don’t have to worry about anything else.  You are empowering Jesus to take control of your life.  You as a follower of Christ are pure, so all things are pure.  Pure by definition is like a cathartic process.  Pure people don’t hold on to the bad.  Pure people are empowered by Jesus.

Empower the good, I love interacting with others because I always learn something.  Social media is a great way to interact with others, to empower them.  I have learned so much on Facebook.  Mostly what I have learned is about maintaining relationships with people from completely different backgrounds.  There can be righteousness online, and users empowered by God’s Spirit helping others to be empowered by God.

Being able to empower, impact others, is one of the reasons that I love going to farmers markets rather than fancy grocery stores.  1. Because the simple farmers can use the money from my purchases more than the entitled trust fund babies that own the large grocery stores.  2. So I can develop a relationship, so I can interact.  I have learned so much the past 5 years because the Lord has empowered me to empower others.

You can empower what you believe in, not what you don’t believe in.

You empower what you respond to or react to.  Responding is positive.  Reacting is negative.  If it causes a reaction, and if it isn’t really that important, it is usually best to just walk away.  You don’t have to correct everyone.  Mike MacIntosh says, ‘If you go around giving everyone a piece of your mind, eventually you will have no mind left to give.’

Here it is easy to respond to the good kids and to react to the bullies.  We have learned to empower the good kids, and not empower the bullies.  I have learned from the very children themselves.  The best way to react to a bad situation is to ignore it.  We try to catch the children doing good (respond and EMPOWER), and ignoring (rather than reacting to) the bad (unless it’s flagrantly bad).  We empower the do gooders.  The naughty ones just kind of get bored.

I have a friend who is a crack addict / prostitute.  She has been on the streets selling herself for crack since she was a little girl.  Once a guy beat her up.  I reacted, but she said, ‘Pastor Dean, we are Christians, we have to forgive.’  She was a lot purer than I was in that moment.  I learn more from these guys down here, than I teach, I can assure you.  I hope that she is empowered by God.  My wish is that all that we minister to are empowered.

John 1:5
New International Version
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Focus on Jesus, He the light of the world.  He wants to empower you to empower others.

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