The manipulator is cunning. He weaves his web with such skill and patience that his victim does not realize he is caught in the trap until it is too late. As a disciple maker you will need to help your disciple break free from the web of the manipulator and teach him how to recognize and evade the snares of manipulation. Few people can untangle themselves from the snarled relationship with a manipulator without outside help.
What is manipulation?
Manipulation is when someone imposes a false idea or belief on another that causes ignorance, bewilderment, or helplessness so that he can control that individual for his own advantage.
Recorded in Daniel chapter six is the story of the vice presidents of Persia manipulating King Darius in order to remove Daniel from the government. Here we find several insights into the ways of the manipulator, but first I want to look at two premises of manipulation.
Manipulation is based on lies.
A manipulator will have your disciple believe a lie to be true and the truth to be a lie. These lies are difficult to discern because they are based on half-truths and slight exaggerations. He knows how to cloak the lie behind a germ of truth found within the lie. The manipulator uses these half-truths and embellishments to throw his victim off balance just enough to maneuver him to his advantage.
The vice presidents told King Darius “The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers, and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lion’s den.”(Daniel 6:7) It was a lie. Daniel was one of the top three officials over the kingdom and he would have never agreed to such a decree.
Manipulation is selfish.
At his core the manipulator is self-consumed and cares for no one but himself. His victims are expendable. The royal administers intended to not only remove Daniel from office but they wanted him dead, even though it would be a detriment to the king and the kingdom.