Last weekend, Oregon Campus Pastor Andy Rectenwald presented another “Bad Girl of the Bible”—Delilah. What an amazingly cunning and beautiful woman she was!
She dangled her womanly wiles before Samson, seducing him with her words. She played on his emotions, pleaded with him, and threatened him, all the while keeping him in a heightened state of sexual desire. Her persistence in learning the mysterious source of his great strength is noteworthy, except it was for the sole purpose of her own monetary gain—at Samson’s expense.
For master manipulators like Delilah, it is a way of life. They will do whatever it takes to get what they want; no price is too high for someone else to pay. Were it not for those of us too trusting and/or passive for our own good, the manipulators in our society would never succeed at their game!
There are many places where manipulators do their deeds. It can be in the home, in the workplace—literally anywhere and everywhere people co-exist. Undoubtedly, many have experienced firsthand the effects of the master manipulator in the workplace. The persistence of such a person is nearly impossible to duplicate. Were it possible to harness the negative energy expended by them and put that energy to good use, it would make a profound difference in every workplace! Instead, it is with utmost skill that the workplace manipulator manages to watch, work, and wear down the best of bosses. In essence, Delilah did that to Samson. She wore him down with her persistence, not to mention, her charm. Her play on words.
The workplace manipulator’s uncanny timing at approaching a boss when he/she is deeply engaged mentally and asking for “employee privileges” is just one of the tricks in their bag of tricks. It is but one way that manipulators, like Delilah, get what they long for. The thought of causing harm or extra work for others is never a concern—it is all about them—the manipulator. In the extreme case, it truly is as though no one else matters. May we each pledge to never be that person.
What is more important to you—people or things? Do you have the tendency to manipulate others for personal gain? Do you carefully consider the needs/opinions of others? Do you need to sharpen your skills in handling manipulators?
Push the clutter out of your mind through heartfelt prayer that focuses on you and your sinful nature rather than others. Educate yourself about manipulation. Read this Focus on the Family article: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/get-help/how-to-deal-with-manipulative-people/. Seek the face of God, taking a close look at personal motives and what drives those motives. Ask God to give you a heart of genuine love for others.
If you find yourself in a manipulative relationship and looking for steps that will lead to healing, consider checking out Celebrate Recovery.
Heavenly Father, thank you for offering a path to wholeness through Christ. We live in a broken world where too often we are self-focused. Empower me to reach beyond myself to share with others the restorative work you have done and continue to do in my life. Help me to always remember I am nothing and have nothing of true value to offer without you in my life. Forgive me for the times I fail to remember people matter more than things. Help me to step into difficult conversations when I sense manipulation is at work. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Karen Peck. Karen retired in March 2018 from Lucas County Information Services. She has been married over forty years. Karen rejoices over God’s faithfulness and God’s patience in her life and in her marriage. Nothing matters more to Karen than her relationship with God and her entire family. Her immeasurable faith in Christ and His ability to restore the broken runs deep within.
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