Manipulation and Impatience

Though the Bible gives us awesome examples of honorable women that we can role model; it also gives us examples of women who made unwise and evil decisions that we can learn from. This week’s topic is close to my heart, and came easy to write: manipulation and impatience.

While women can be jealous and act competitively with one another, they can also be quite manipulative to get what they want. I’m not trying to put down women but I think it’s an area that we need to be aware of and never fall into. Men can be manipulative too- it’s a negative character flaw for humans. A few months ago I met with a friend for coffee that has gone through 2 divorces and he shared all that he had been going through with his manipulative ex wife. He agreed that men can be manipulative, but he’s never seen the level of manipulative viciousness that women can have. I understood what he meant and I think women know what he’s referring to. It’s quite sad but there is some truth to it, I believe.

The Bible gives us an example of one such woman- the wife of Potiphar. In short, Jacob’s youngest son Joseph, had been sold into slavery by his brothers and taken to Egypt. In Egypt, Joseph worked in Potiphar’s home and he was a looker (the Bible said it, not me- haha) and Potiphar’s wife wanted to have sexual relations with Joseph. Being an honorable man he refused. So, because she couldn’t manipulate him into sex, she tried another way and falsely accused him of raping her. Joseph was imprisoned but God was with him and used Him in a mighty way. I wonder what became of Potiphar’s wife’s life? One can’t be free knowing they have affected someone else’s life in a negative way. It’s my favorite Bible story- take a look: Genesis 37-50.

Next, let’s shimmy over to the book of Judges- the book of what NOT to do in life. Samson was a strong man, whose strength was found in his hair. He was special and an angel of the Lord announced his birth and God also used him to fight the Philistines. Samson had a weakness for beautiful women and was bad at choosing them, nor did he seek advice about his women. He had an affair with a prostitute, Delilah. The Philistine lords enticed Deliliah to find out the source of Samson’s strength, which she would get 1,100 pieces of silver for. After manipulating Samson with her feminine charm, he finally told her why he was so strong, and she had his hair cut off, after he had fallen asleep. Samson lost his strength and eyesight (God briefly gave it back to him to kill the Philistines and save the Jews but he died doing it.) For a more detailed understanding, read Judges 13-16.

Lastly, I want to come back to Genesis and look at Sarah, the wife of Abraham. God promised Abraham and Sarah a son, but after 90 or so years of waiting, Sarah took matters into her own hands and manipulated Abraham into thinking that God would not deliver on His promise, and that he should have a child with her Egyptian maidservant, Hagar. To which he did and it backfired on Sarah. After Hagar gave birth to Ishmael the 2 women (and naturally) hated one another. I can imagine that Sarah regretted her impatience, especially when she finally got her own son, Isaac. A good read- Genesis 16: 1-5 – chapter 21.

I would say that manipulation, whether it comes from a man or woman is rooted in selfishness. Matthew 7:16 says that “by their fruit you shall know them.” When I see guy friends getting manipulated by girls, I already know what this girl is about. She’s selfish; she’s insecure; she’s unstable; she obviously doesn’t have Christ; she’s weak; she places her identity in human(s), not in her Creator; she doesn’t know her value; she’s a fraud of character; AND most importantly, she should be left alone. If anyone manipulates you- RUN and don’t look back. Why get involved with people that will bring stress. One thing to also remember- God doesn’t manipulate us. It’s not His nature and He gives us free will to come to Him, to wait on Him, and to trust Him. So, choose a partner that doesn’t force you to become what they want you to become. Choosing bad company brings stress that we bring on ourselves. God doesn’t want you stressed out.

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:14-18