This week we are going to talk about the 2 remaining characteristics of manipulators and how to show them the love of Christ.
If you missed Part 1 of this post you can view it here.
Let’s jump right in:
3. They Manipulate Themselves.
CHARACTERISTIC: Manipulators don’t think of themselves as manipulative, they see themselves as wronged by the people around them. Aside from narcissists, I think most manipulators see themselves as victims in life. The irony is by trying to control others they lose control of their own lives and end up manipulating themselves into believing their lie as truth.
CARE: You are probably starting to notice a lot of these solutions come back to truth and love. This one is no different. Love is the superweapon of the Christian. The difficulty here is not to grow weary in doing good. You are not going to change the thought patterns of a manipulator in one conversation. It’s going to be a long and slow road. But not impossible. I’ve seen this happen and it took a long time. Just prepare yourself, set the boundaries, and don’t try to move a mountain in one day. If God gives you a shovel, then a shovel full at a time is all that is required. If you try to move as much with your shovel as a stick of dynamite would in the same time frame; you will expel a lot of effort only to break yourself.
4. Forgiving Is Not Trusting.
CHARACTERISTIC: Manipulators often destroy trust over years of tiny swings with a hammer. It can take that long to rebuild. Manipulation can be terribly destructive to relationships. But God told me once, “Brandon, somebody has to stop throwing rocks.” It’s hard to lay down our rocks when we have been hurt and manipulated. But if we remember Christ, it makes it much easier to do.
CARE: Forgiving is not trusting. Forgiving is not trusting. Forgiving is not trusting. That’s no typo you are seeing there. This is me trying to make a point you will remember. Your forgiveness does not guarantee trust. But in the same fashion, your lack of trust should not stop you from forgiving.
Forgiving a manipulator doesn’t mean they immediately earn your trust again. Trust is built through relationship and takes time. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not just talking about saying the words, “I forgive them.” I’m talking about the type of forgiveness that opens up the opportunity for trust. Forgiveness is not trusting… It is the first step on the journey to it.
There you go! I hope these two articles have been helpful. If you have questions or comments about how to deal with manipulation, let me know in the comments below.
Question: Have you ever been hurt by manipulation? If so, how did you respond?