“Never fool yourself into believing that your agenda is sufficiently worthy to somehow justify the manipulation of the people whom you wish to impose it upon.” ― Craig Lounsbrough.
As Christians, we have a broad but clear set of moral guidelines to follow when interacting with people and society at large. We know that lies, deceit, and manipulation are undesirable traits that can consistently lead to negative outcomes. Manipulation is real and has been an age-old tool of the devil. The Bible tells us that the devil uses many tactics in an effort to control and manipulate people.
Jezebel, King Ahab’s wife is a clear example of this. 1 Kings tells the story of how Jezebel manipulated her husband to turn all of God’s nation to serve “baal” (her idol). She even sent out some servants to shut down all temples of God and to kill everyone that does not bow down to her idol.
We are told, “…he (Ahab) did more to provoke the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than any of the other kings of Israel before him.” (1 Kings 16:33). The Prophet Elijah confronted Jezebel and Ahab. They became enraged and carried through with their plans with even more hatred. 1 Kings 21:25 says “(No one else so completely sold himself to what was evil in the Lord’s sight as Ahab did under the influence of his wife Jezebel.”
There are many other examples in the Bible of people trying to manipulate their circumstances to fit their will or argument or to achieve their objectives. King David sought to manipulate events to cover up his adultery with Bathsheba. When she became pregnant, David called her husband, Uriah, back from the front, hoping this would provide David with a cover for his sin. But his efforts failed. God knew the truth, and David’s sins were revealed.
Manipulation tries to control the choices, decisions, and actions of another person. God intends for everyone to have free will to make choices for themselves. That is why He does not force us to accept Him as Lord and Savior. Manipulation, however, is based on the premise that not everyone should have the ability to make their own choices.
We need to regularly check ourselves and our motives. Let’s make sure we are not engaged in manipulative tactics. We must trust God and take our hands off people and situations that are not ours to control. Manipulation is not acceptable in any way, shape, or form. Refuse to have anything to do with it. You will free others to make their own choices, and you will be free from the need to control.
- What are some attributes of manipulators?
- Do you think it is easy or hard for others to manipulate you? Why?
- What do we need to do to limit being manipulated or manipulating others?