What is manipulation?
In my own understanding, manipulation is:
- An act of tactically influencing another person mind into thinking or doing what they would not have otherwise thought or done.
- A demonic and afflicting spirit, because of the characters it exhibits.
“Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the behavior or perception of others through indirect, deceptive, or underhanded tactics. By advancing the interests of the manipulator, often at another’s expense, such methods could be considered exploitative and devious.” (Google)
What does manipulation do?
- It deceives/pretends: Delilah kept making believe that she was just asking innocent questions out of love, as opposed to ensnaring Samson (Judges 16:6,10,13,15). The bible says, No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” – 2 Cor. 11:14
- It blindfolds (preventing one from thinking right and seeing clearly): Samson couldn’t see/ perceive any danger in the repeated line of questioning that Delilah put forth. How could she keep inquiring how his strength could be removed (3 times)and he didn’t suspect anything foul? (Judges 16:6,10,13,15)
- It pesters: Manipulators don’t give up easily (Judges 16:16)
- It takes advantage of people: Delilah took advantage of the weak area of Samson’s life; She knew that Samson had a soft spot her and she used it against her. He told her his weak point (Judges 16:17)
- Makes the manipulated feel guilty (Judges 16:6,10,13,15).
- Delivers one into the hands of enemies (Judges 16:18-21).
Motives for manipulation
- Selfish gain: Delilah betrayed Samson for money (Judges 16:4).
- Lack of Love: One cannot betray to torture a person that one truly/genuinely loves. Love does not delight in wrong doing (1 Cor. 13:6). The bible tells us that Samson loved Delilah (Judges 16:4), but does not say that she loved him in return. Love can lead you to ask about the source of your lover’s strength, but not how to get and weaken him.
Give some examples of manipulation that you know:
How can one enter into the snare of manipulators?
- Disobedience: Samson had been warned against going to marry an unbeliever, but he refused to obey (Judges 14:1-3; 16:4). Young people if nowadays here this admonition from parents or ministers, yet they go ahead to do what they choose. They are told not to sleep or live together before marriage, yet they do it anyway, damming the consequences. You know, when we start sitting on the laps of people to whom we are not married, or we start resting our heads on the bosom of a person to whom we are not married, anything could happen. At first, one may think it is just an expression of feelings, but only God knows what the devil may turn those chances to. May God deliver us.
- Lust: Samson was so much in lust that he didn’t care to know that Delilah was a killer. He slept with a harlot (vs. 1), and loved a foreign woman (vs. 4). 2 Peter 2:14 says, “having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, …”
How may I know if I am manipulative?
As shown earlier, if I notice any of these characteristics in me, I manipulative:
- Deceiving others
- Preventing people from knowing the truth,
- Taking advantage of people’s weakness for my own gain
- Enjoying making people feel guilty
- Enjoying handing people over to their enemies
How may one be delivered from the spirit of manipulation?
In the gospel of Matthew 24:4, “Jesus answered and said unto them, “see to it that no one misleads you.”” The question is how we can avoid being misled. I say that because manipulation is a spirit, one would need a more powerful spirit to combat and overcome it. The name of the more powerful spirit is the Holy Spirit of discernment. This is the spirit of knowing.
- Lord, give me discerning spirit, so I do not fall into the snares of manipulators.
- Lord, deliver me from the laps of manipulators.
- Lord, remove from me any spirit of manipulation that I may or may not be aware of in my character.