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Steps to Solution on Manipulation

Walking Christian on Manipulation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  51:25
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Ten ways to move away from manipulation.

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A. Key Verse to Memorize

Galatians 1:10 (ESV)
10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

B. Key Passage to Read and Reread

1 Thessalonians 2:3
For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive,
1 Thessalonians 2:4
but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.
1 Thessalonians 2:5
For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness.
1 Thessalonians 2:6
Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 2:7
But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.
1 Thessalonians 2:8
So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

C. The Lord Promises to Meet Your Inner Needs for …

Love
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”
Jeremiah 31:3 ESV
3 the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Significance
“ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ”
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Security
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.D
Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV
8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

D. Questions and Answers

Abraham and his beautiful wife Sarah, who was also his half-sister, traveled to the Negev region. In this foreign land, Abraham feared that the king would kill him in order to take his wife. Therefore, Abraham deceived King Abimelech by only stating, “She is my sister.” He manipulated Sarah to go along with his lie by using an emotional appeal … “This is how you can show your love [kindness, loyalty] to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, ‘He is my brother.’ ” (See Genesis 20:1–13.)
Q “I know I’m being manipulated, so why do I stay in the relationship?”
Each person has God-given needs for love, for significance and for security. A desperate fear of rejection often paralyzes a person who is trying to make healthy decisions.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
Q “How do I know whether I am being manipulated?”
Evaluate: Am I doing this because I fear someone else’s disapproval or because it is the right thing for me to do?
“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men?
If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)
People have been coerced into doing any number of things in the name of love, loyalty and kindness. If Sarah had encouraged her husband to trust God, rather than submitting to his request, they would have been spared much sorrow and shame.
Q “Is a wife still being submissive to her husband if she takes a stand against his manipulation?”
Submission is not the issue here. Submission is of God. Manipulation is not of God. Manipulation is a sin because faith is placed not in the Lord, but in the manipulative tactics used. Therefore, if a wife perpetuates the sinful pattern of her husband, she is not helping him but is rather hindering him. She is confirming his sinful behavior.
“Everything that does not come from faith is sin.” Romans 14:23

E. Maneuvering Out of Manipulation

Ten Major Moves

Decide not to be dependent on the manipulator.

• Decide that you want a healthy relationship that glorifies God.
• Decide that you will be dependent on the Lord to meet your deepest needs.
“Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” (Luke 6:35)

Expect exasperation from the manipulator.

• Don’t expect the manipulator to understand.
• Don’t expect the manipulator to be willing to give up control.
“Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.” (Psalm 31:3–4)

Prepare yourself for pain.

• Accept the fact that change is painful. However, in time you can have peace.
• Accept the fact that if you don’t change, you will stay in pain.
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?” (Hebrews 12:7)

Examine the expectations of the manipulator.

• Ask yourself, “How am I being manipulated?” Then write out your tactics for change.
• Ask a trusted friend to help you see your blind spots.
“A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” (Proverbs 22:3)

Notify the manipulator of the necessity for change.

• State that you are to blame.
“I’ve come to realize that I’ve been wrong in the way I’ve related to you. At times I’ve not spoken because I’ve been fearful. This is not healthy for either of us.”
• State your commitment.
“I really do care about you. I want you to know that I am committed to change. I believe we can ultimately have a much healthier relationship.”
… Or, if it is not appropriate to continue in a relationship at all,
• State your resolve.
“I cannot continue in a relationship with you and be the person I need to be before God.”
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

Don’t defend yourself.

Although you will be accused of not being loving and caring …
• You may choose to be silent, but don’t use silence as a weapon.
• You may state the truth once. “I’m so sorry you feel that way.… What you’ve said is not true—it’s not reflecting my heart.”
“A time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:7)

Expect experimentation with new strategies.

• The manipulator may use other methods to control you.
• The manipulator needs to see that these new methods will not succeed.
“The folly of fools yields folly.” (Proverbs 14:24)

Nullify your need to meet all the manipulator’s needs.

• Realize that God didn’t design anyone to meet ALL the needs of another person.
• Realize that if you meet all of the manipulator’s needs, then the manipulator won’t need the Lord.
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.” (Psalm 37:4–5)

Commit Galatians 1:10 to memory.

• Recognize the truth in Galatians 1:10 by saying it three times a day.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)
• Recognize that you are “transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

Yield to pleasing the Lord first.

• See that Jesus was not a “peace at any price” person. Jesus said, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)
• See that if you want to be like Jesus, you too must not be a “peace at any price” person.
“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)
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