At the end of Oregon Campus Pastor Andy Rectenwald’s weekend message, he shared that we don’t know what happened to Delilah. Andy said that, sometimes, while preparing to officiate at funerals, family members find it difficult to share kind and loving things about the deceased. What a sad legacy to leave behind! Perhaps, no one cared enough to write about what happened to Delilah in the end.
After manipulating Sampson and others, using them to get what she wanted, she had no one left. I’ve been that person in my family, and I have family that has been there as well! After all, manipulation can really hurt!
There have been times that I’ve used manipulation to get what I wanted, because I knew what was “best for the person” I was manipulating. Is there anyone who hasn’t manipulated their children into eating their vegetables to get dessert? Or used manipulation to grant a child’s request to bribe them to clean their room? Perhaps you’ve left an item “in your cart” on Amazon trying to manipulate your spouse into a birthday present?
Powers of manipulation should be used for good. If people are the means to the end, we will regret it in the end. If a co-worker gets “thrown under the bus” for your promotion, will you really enjoy your new position?
We have an opportunity in our lives to impact others positively to help them get what they want instead of getting what we want from them. I could have planted a garden with my children and given them the chance to experience vegetables in a whole new way! I could have asked for that special gift instead of leaving hints.
What if we took everyday opportunities and used them to empower the people we come into contact with? When we do, we leave a legacy. A little encouragement goes a long way. I’ve seen my prayers answered, and the impossible become possible through waiting on God.
The older I get, the more I consider what kind of legacy I will leave behind. I won’t leave a bunch of money or many belongings, but I hope to leave behind a lot of good memories and loving traditions. God only knows the way my story will end. I can say that, today, I live my life in hopes that I will leave a legacy that points to God.
Are you using powers of manipulation to gain control over others? Are you exploiting someone’s weakness to get what you want? Are you asking a loved one to give up their dreams in support of yours?
Read Judges 16 for yourself. Ask God to reveal to you if you are using manipulation against another for self gain. If you are, repent and ask for forgiveness.
Father, I pray that you will guide me in the way that leads only to you. Let any influence or powers of manipulation be used for your good and not my own. Help me to build a legacy of love and joy and peace with the people that I come into contact with. I give myself to you, Lord, to be used by you in any way that you can. I pray that your will, and not my own, be done both in heaven and here on Earth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Julie Estep. Julie loves her husband John and their combined five adult children and four grandchildren. Her favorite activities are walking their two dogs and golfing. She loves sharing her faith and is grateful for the chance to be a LIO contributor.
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