Your disciple may be caught in the trap of a manipulator. This manipulator could be his mother, father, brother, sister, mate, child, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, pastor, teacher, or boss . . . a manipulator could be anyone. Teaching your disciple how to recognize and deal with a manipulator is an important part of the disciple making process.
What is a manipulator?
A manipulator uses unfair or subtle means to control circumstances or people to his own advantage.
The manipulator disguises his actions so shrewdly that few recognize his true intent. He is so masterful at deflecting the blame off of himself and onto others that if questions do arise both the victim and the outside observer believes that the victim is the real problem.
Manipulation is the antithesis of love. One of the tools I use to help my disciple discern manipulation is 1 Corinthians 13. Here the apostle Paul gives us a clear and understandable picture of love, which we can use as measurement against the behavior of the manipulator.
Beginning the process:
- Discuss with your disciple each of his relationships, both past and present, with the eye for the manipulator.
- Manipulators strike fear in the heart of your disciple. Expect reluctance, procrastination, and excuses when he begins to deal with the manipulator(s) in his life.
- The process is long. De-tangling any manipulative relationship is complicated and will take time, but dealing with a family member who is a manipulator is even more knotty and can take even more time.