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Refuse Manipulation Without Reducing Love

This post is a further exploration of something I put on Facebook recently.

Many of us easily get pulled into manipulative relational cycles. It’s like a ferris wheel we don’t know how to not ride. We don’t know how to refuse that without abandoning our true selves. We don’t know how to refuse manipulation without hardening our hearts.

I think God is quite impervious to manipulation. He’s unshakable. He can’t be manipulated. Yet he is love. He never stops loving. Even when they crucify him he keeps loving and responding from a place of honor and grace.

I want to be more like that. I want to become so powerful that I am not easily pulled into manipulative toxic relational cycles. I want good boundaries without needing false power like pride, anger, fear or bitterness to motivate those boundaries or to enforce those boundaries. In order to become this powerful, I will need to more fully surrender to God as my source of identity and security and strength. I find that the more I surrender to God as my source, the more fully I become my true self.

What does it look like to be powerfully non-manipulated from a place of love, honor and grace? I want to self-manage in this way. I want to set limits in relationships without anger or fear or hardness of heart. When someone comes at me with their own false-self, with their fear and manipulation and control, I want to learn to say no to the manipulation while carrying a yes in my heart for their true self, for their eternal worth, for their intrinsic value.

I want to set boundaries without having to judge them as unworthy of my love. In fact, I want to set boundaries while continuing to love deeply. Even if it hurts. This is the only way to stop destructive cycles with health. This is the only way to get off that ride.

2016-03-06T10:06:53+00:00

About the Author:

Alan Smith and his wife Nancy are the Senior Pastors of Catch the Fire DFW, an incredible community in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that launched Spring 2014. They married in 1994 and have three brilliant and beautiful children. Alan formerly served as Pastor of Freedom Ministry at Gateway Church in Southlake, TX. He enjoys the Dallas Cowboys, good books, writing, speaking, jazz, live music, traveling, coffee, and time with close friends. Not necessarily in that order.