Manipulation, according to Charles R. Swindoll, is the attempt to control, obligate, or take advantage of others by unfair or insidious means. He declares that it is practiced by insecure people who are attempting to look superior by making others squirm. But, it isn't done in a bold, upfront manner, rather indirectly and by little hints or well-timed comments or facial expressions.
One type is the Take-Charge Manipulator. He is the one who has to come out smarter or stronger than others in order to be happy when others are around. Now to see if you fit into this category, answer the following questions honestly. 1. Do I drop hints that signal I know more about what's being discussed than those in charge? 2. Do I enjoy correcting factual errors in conversation? 3. Do I have the tendency to control an argument, looking for ways to show that the other person is at fault? 4. Do I make others feel guilty when I want a certain action? So, how do you rate yourself?
Now, the Poor-Me Manipulator is extremely just the opposite. This person attempts to get his way by appearing weak. After all, who can hit another while he's down and helpless? This kind will "clutch" at you using sighs, tears, sickness, even depression to gain control and get their way. They actually love the role of being victim, which seldom fails to arouse sympathy. Wives and husbands are really good at this. And so are the kids. We can appear so needy, so sick until we see it's not working. Then it is amazing how much energy we can muster up as anger replaces weakness. This is known as an infantile technique that is often practiced by adults. In fact, no profession is immune: ministers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, salesmen and more are all guilty of using this act at some time in their profession. Why not? It Works!!
O.K., now I want us to take a look at our perfect example, Jesus Christ the Son of God. He came to earth from heaven without ever taking advantage of finite man. Yes, He was omnipotent and omniscient still He gave others space to learn without a hint of manipulation. He was all wise and discerning yet He held His innate power in check. He used His power only to give God glory, but never to manipulate.
No matter who you are or what position you hold in life the temptation to manipulate will never go away. Why? It is a natural tendency to want things to go our way. We seem to feel that this will make us happy. But really? There are a lot of unhappy people today who seem to be getting their way. The more they have the unhappier they are. So, one more time let's look at Jesus. He was and is the Prince of Peace. He said "I have not come to earth to do my will, but the will of my Father in heaven." "He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off His hair: He hid not His face from shame and spitting" (Isaiah 50:6). What did He gain? A name that's above all others: LORD! For more information you can visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com.
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.