MANIPULATION:  Control Vs. Trust

·         Manipulation is rooted in pride and selfishness and involves viewing others as objects, not as individuals. It is an invasion of an individual’s dignity because it seeks to limit freedom through control. The tools of manipulation are position, power, deception, and distortion. The results, even if perceived as successful, are always a denigration of God’s best as the manipulative individual believes that they know more than God.

·         Scripture is replete with vivid examples of manipulation of people and situations.  Sarah manipulated Abraham and her servant Hagar in order to grasp in her own time what God has promised (Genesis 16:1-16).

Rebekah manipulated her husband Isaac as well as her son Jacob in order to achieve her personal goal for her favorite son (Genesis 27:1-29).  In these instances – and countless others – the manipulation brought more sorrow than joy (Genesis 16:5; 27:42, 43).

·         Anytime a person focuses on self rather than God the possibility of manipulation exists.  Fundamentally, such an attitude shows a lack of trust in God and suggests the erroneous belief that since God is not doing the right thing, we must take matter into our own hands and attempt to control environment, circumstances, and people by whatever means available.