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Benjamin Franklin Effect II

by on May 20, 2014

Was Jesus swayed by the Benjamin Franklin Effect? Notice John 3 and the discussion between Jesus and Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a master of the law and a master of the people. He knew that Jesus was not a supporter of the religious leaders. He began by attempting to make Jesus feel good about himself. Jesus would have none of it.

Jesus answers Nicodemus with answers that completely change the subject. He does not take the bait that Nicodemus casts. He even goes beyond changing the subject. He implies and actually states that Nicodemus and those like him are wrong and do not understand the law – the law that was their specialty. They were masters of the law. Jesus denied that. He told Nicodemus that “masters of the law should know these things.”

Jesus gave no ground whatever. His answers to Nicodemus were obtuse relative to the questions. Actually the questions were very immature. Nicodemus’ original verbal introduction did not impress Jesus at all. Jesus’ answers were the answers to the questions that Nicodemus should have been asking. Actually Nicodemus should have known the answers to the questions that he should have been asking.

One pesky little problem for the Benjamin Franklins of the world is that there are also prophets in the world. Like Jesus, these people are not easily swayed. You can attempt the BF Effect on them but you are wasting your time. They will not respond to your system of politics and control of people’s lives. They are the “Jesus people.” They are the truth people – people who do not allow themselves to be manipulated by the BF Effect.

Truth prevents them from experiencing internal conflict. Truth prevents cognitive dissonance in their lives. Attempts to resolve internal conflict/dissonance are not needed. Hence, these truth people are not manipulatable. They resist and react to attempts at manipulation. They neither manipulate others nor allow others to manipulate them.

Real, heartfelt commendation is always appropriate. That is not manipulation. That is encouragement. We all need encouragement. We all need to give encouragement. Manipulation is a totally different subject. Manipulation is aimed at deriving some benefit from the social exchange. Encouragement is aimed at blessing the other person with genuine truth and commendation.

Examine your motives. Do not allow salesmanship or politics of any kind to dictate your words and/or behaviors. Benjamin Franklin is not the Christian model. Jesus Christ is our model. He said, “Follow me.” He calls us to be disciples and fishers of men. He does not allow politics in His Kingdom.

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