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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Manipulation




I was in conversation with a young man some time ago, according to him he was being used by his employer. I opined that almost all employees are being used by their employees in this profit driven, Capitalistic society. While this young man is very educated in his field of work and study, this was not reflected in his job position. To add insult to injury his salary was just as bad and others were always promoted over him. However, this situation was not peculiar to my friend alone, but many other persons in the working world.

After listening to this young man lamenting, I asked him if he can afford to leave his job. He responded no. I again asked him, if you stop working now how will you be able to pay your bills and take care of your family he said he did not know. Then I said to him you need to manipulate the situation to your advantage. He was shocked. Manipulation is a bad word, especially for a Christian. But let us examine this word called manipulation using an example from nature;


A farmer wants to have a good harvest; therefore, he watches the weather. If he lives in the tropics, then essentially any time of the year, except summer, is a good time for planting because in the summer the heat post a great threat to young trees. Therefore, the best time for planting trees is late winter or early spring. Autumn is a good alternative if you cannot plant in late winter or early spring. It is not a good idea to plant in the summer because the weather will be too hot and the new plant will be vulnerable. Weather also restricts your options in north during the winter season, the cold that freezes the earth. Furthermore, early-to-mid winter is not the best time for planting.

In addition, to the foregoing the farmer has to select the right location for planting, the soil and the type crop he or she wants to plant. Water, fertilizer and other tools pertinent to his task will be needed. With all his knowledge and tools the farmer will manipulate the environment to make sure he gets the best crop and a plentiful harvest to supply the needed demand that you and I have. What the farmer did was manipulate the environment and his resources. Thus to manipulate means the turning of a situation to ones advantage through the use of procedural devices such as changing the order of the agenda or introduce new plans; It is to treat or operate in a skillful manner.

Two Biblical example of manipulation

The shrewd manager
“There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’ “The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’ “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ “‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied. “The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’ “Then he asked the second, ‘and how much do you owe?’ “‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied. “He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’ “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly (Luke 16:1-8)

The manger manipulates the situation to secure his future.  Therefore, we can question his ethics as much as we like but his plan and action was commended. We need to imitate this man in the work place today. (Hang me later).

Another example is Jesus and the man born blind
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world. After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. (John 9:1-7)

Here we read where Jesus used spit and dirt to cure a man of his blindness. This shows that Jesus was indeed a man (as the prophets before him who healed people in a similar manner.) Jesus had a physical body that inhabited space and time in this world, while at the same time He was God with us (Emanuel) who have the power to cure blindness and was done. Jesus is God and man, the ordinary and the extraordinary at the same time. He manipulates both His nature and the environment and healing took place.

After looking at manipulation in this way, I suggested to anyone who feel they are between a rock and a hard place on the job. They are not being fairly treated while at the same time they cannot leave the job just yet to look at the situation carefully.

You need the income the boss/job needs your service it’s a “used and be used situation.” Either of you can become a victor or either of you can lose.  You can use the present job as a means to improve yourself and seek after better opportunity. Or you stay in the job to nothing to improve yourself and suffer or see it as a temporary sacrifice. Also, you can leave the job and suffer; someone or something must be manipulated.

Manipulation is not only for farming or your job. There are circumstances, situations and relations that will need to be manipulated in order to get the desired out come for your life and  destiny. Manipulation is good for Church and Religious settings because that is where it is practiced the most. (Before you stone me,reflect on this text)

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16)