Ahhh.. Where to begin..where to begin..No, I had not fallen off the face of the earth, just struggling with my own mind, regrets, pride, decisions..the usual..but all that will be explained in a letter, hopefully soon.. 🙂
The Manipulating Tongue..tough..tough. This chapter is a page out of my life.
“Manipulation is a crafty use of the tongue and a self-perpetuating vice.” (Author) Most manipulators feel a kind of rush or high from getting over on the intended victim. I say victim because I WANT TO BELIEVE the majority of humans are not out to get one another. But, sadly, this is not the truth..just the view from behind my dirty rose colored glasses.
If I sound pompous or vain at any time during this writing, please remember this is from my perspective on my life, and I tend(ed?) to wear rose colored glasses a lot of the time.
I have almost always gotten by on my looks. Ok, Ok..quit looking at that little blog photo. NOT FAIR. Remember I am almost 53 now, and I was once young and above average looking (vain much?). It always seemed that one or another physical attribute the Lord chose to give me, gave me an excuse to use it some manipulative way.
When I was really young, I remember sitting at the table, a portion of cold boiled asparagus in front of me (YUCK) that I had refused to eat and my mother telling my father “Honey, she has a small mouth.” Huh? What? I don’t grasp the reasoning (even now), but it worked with my father then.
Suffice to say, many speeding tickets were not written, excuses accepted, and favoritism has happen in the years since due to my ability to manipulate people, either with my body, or my now sharp mind.
I look back now on my life, and the things I was once so proud of, I am ashamed of. But, I strive to remember that everything that has happened in the past, has shaped me into the person I am today. And today, I am seeking to walk the narrow road. Praise the Lord!
Getting back to the study, the author begins the day using the example of Samson (God‘s chosen man, he was to play a big part in freeing the Israelites from the Philistine rule) was endowed with super-natural physical strength that derived from his head of hair, but he was warned from an early age never to tell this information, as it would be his downfall. Samson never cut his hair, and his power and strength grew.
Samson fell for a Philistine woman who was very beautiful, and also very greedy and cunning. She knew if she could get him to revel the secret of his majestic strength to her, she could sell the secret for financial gain. She tried almost everything, until she realized he truly loved her. She used his feelings against him by saying something like “If you really loved me, you’d tell me the secret.” Well, he really loved her, and as soon as he told her the secret, his hair was shorn, his eyes gouged out, and he was imprisoned to grind for rest of his life. Her manipulating increased her wealth, while her former lover was a broken, sightless man. Luckily, he was still in God’s favor, and he pleaded for a burst of strength just one more time. During an event, he was brought out for all the Philistines to mock, and he used that burst of strength to literally “Bring the house down!” He stood between 2 of the temple pillars and pushed with all his(God’s) strength, and when the structure collapsed, it killed Samson, and more than 3000 others. What a tragedy for this formerly strong man, both physically and mentally to be manipulated by a cunning and money hungry woman. It destroyed not only his feeling of self worth, but also the entire relationship, as it was built on lies and manipulation.
There are many schools of thought that suggest this exact occurrence in the Bible is why some men are afraid to open up to women. They are afraid what they say or what they are afraid of, will be used against them in a future time.
The Bible gives a few more examples of manipulation. Judas Iscariot‘s craving for wealth and position led him to sell out Jesus for a mere 30 pieces of silver. 30. pieces. of. silver. I would like to think my life was worth much more than this, but our redeemer? But, that was the plan, and PTL (Praise The Lord) Jesus did die for our sins.
It is amazing what some people will do to further their own agenda, and some really like to boast about it. Ever hear of how someone “scammed the IRS” and didn’t have to pay all the taxes they were supposed to? Manipulation.
Now, I have found most manipulators are pretty slick individuals, and cover their bases pretty well. But, soon, all the dark lies must come into the light. Discerning people with keen sensitivity can feel something about this person/situation is “just not right.” Like when the hairs on the back of your neck stand up..you know something is not OK. Like when you go to lunch with (insert name here), and she always “forgets” her money, using one excuse after another to manipulate you into purchasing her food. Pretty soon, whats-her-face is eating alone in the break room. When manipulators are found out, they are usually shunned with avoidance, or confronted.
Jesus confronted His enemies spies who were to manipulate Him into speaking out against the Roman government. Jesus was discerning, and felt they are not sincere in their flattery, and confronted them. He asked “Why do you test Me?” (Luke 20 v 22-23 NKJV)
Jesus never manipulated anyone, nor does He now. He accepts those that come to Him, and let’s the others use their freewill choice. He accepts their decision even when He know’s it is not in their best interest.
Manipulator’s try to take away your God given freewill choices. Don’t let them.
Being informed and knowledgeable in the truth of the Bible is your best defense against this Devil driven practice. By keeping your mind fortified by the Word, you are strengthening yourself in the Lords armor, and seeing through the “rouse” will come naturally. You will have the voice of the Holy Spirit leading you to the light, to the truth. Manipulators generally don’t like to be confronted with questions, and with the Holy Spirit guiding you to push for explanations, I would assume they would soon see they have no chance of manipulating you.
TODAY’S AFFIRMATION: (taken directly from end of chapter). “Because I am in right standing with God, He surrounds me with favor. Therefore, I have no need to manipulate anyone for personal gain or advantage,.”