Handling Controlling Manipulative People (over 54,447 YouTube views – (get the book for a reference). We are going to talk about Handling Controlling Manipulative People. We find these people all through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Eve manipulated Adam. Sarah controlled Hagar and manipulated Abraham. Jacob manipulated Esau. Laban manipulated and controlled Jacob. Miriam and Aaron even tried to control and manipulate Moses. Eli’s sons controlled and manipulated the people of God. Delilah manipulated Samson. That’s a good one. You remember the story. Delilah trying to manipulate Samson into telling her the secret of his strength so she could turn him over to his enemies.

Handling Controlling Manipulative People – By Pastor Delbert Young

Handling Difficult People

Sermon video


Handling Controlling Manipulative People

Scriptures Judges 16:15-17; Matthew 16:22-23; Exodus 20:3-5; Galatians 1:10

(NLT) Judges 16:15-17  Then Delilah pouted, “How can you say you love me when you don’t confide in me? You’ve made fun of me three times now, and you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong!” So day after day she nagged him until he couldn’t stand it any longer. Finally, Samson told her his secret…

Look how the King James’ version writes it.

Judges 16:16 And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death.

How many men might, just might, understand a little of what Samson experienced? Ladies, I am just kidding. Let’s go on through the Bible with more controlling manipulative situations. How about the New Testament? Did people attempt to control and manipulate Jesus? Do you remember when Peter tried to manipulate Jesus? That is where Jesus addressed Peter as Satan? Here is a good one. Herod was having a huge birthday party and his stepdaughter danced for him. Herod, probably between the alcohol and lust, promised the girl he would give here anything. She talked Herod’s proposition over with her mother and decided they wanted the head of John the Baptist on a platter. They got what they wanted. Controlling manipulative people can be dangerous. My point is that all through the Bible we meet controlling manipulative people just as all through life we encounter CONTROLLING MANIPULATIVE PEOPLE.

Let’s notice a few things from all those examples I mentioned. There truly are controlling manipulative predators, but USUALLY, THE MANIPULATOR WAS/IS A VERY CLOSE ACQUAINTANCE. Sometimes it’s a spouse – Adam/Eve. Sometimes it’s a superior/boss – Sarah/Hagar. Sometimes it’s a relative – Laban/Jacob, Miriam, Aaron/Moses. Sometimes it’s a ministry – Eli’s sons/people. Sometimes it’s a lover – Delilah/Samson. People who try to manipulate us are usually close acquaintances. Also, the people we manipulate and control, or attempt to, are usually close to us. Most often, the people who succeed in manipulating us are people we care about and maybe love and the people we manipulate are usually the people who care about or love us. So, when we are handling controlling manipulative people we are usually talking about handling people we probably care greatly about.


Let’s talk about threats first. Controllers and manipulators love to use threats. There is a threatening feeling you should recognize when being manipulated. There is a feeling that if you do not do what that person wants, they will “punish” you. There is a fear of saying, “No” to them. At home, the threat might be, “If you do not do what I want you to do, I will not give you what you want.” At work, it could be a promotion or termination threat. To a young girl in a relationship, the threat might be in the back seat of a car, “If you don’t do this, I am going to break up with you.” That person is manipulating you.

The use of guilt works similarly. Delilah used guilt on Samson. “If you really loved me, you would tell me.” Or, it could be something like, “After all I have done for you…” For example, many children whose parents have suffered divorce feel guilt from a manipulating parent(s). The child already feels they should have done something to keep the parents together. Both parents want the child’s total loyalty. Often a parent will make a child feel disloyal and guilty if they so much as visit the “X.” The controlling manipulative parent will threaten not to do something for the child. Preachers are great with guilt manipulation. “If you really loved Jesus, you would pay tithes, or be at church every day, etc.” Then, of course, there is the silent treatment. The controller/manipulator will not tell you what is wrong. They simply do not talk, you feel guilty, and wonder what you did wrong.

How many of us have people in our lives that try, and probably succeed at controlling and manipulating us using threats and guilt? Now, how many of us use guilt and threats to control and manipulate?

(2) You must RECOGNIZE YOU ARE BEING CONTROLLED AND MANIPULATED. It sounds a little silly to say recognize you are being controlled and manipulated, but you would be surprised at how many people do not realize it. They have been controlled and manipulated for such a long time that the “doormat” life is normal. They have settled into that lifestyle. You must recognize you are being controlled and manipulated. Once Jesus was explaining to the disciples how he would be arrested, beaten, and crucified. This brought out control and manipulation in Peter. Imagine the picture with me.

Matthew 16:22-23 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus TURNED and SAID to Peter, “GET BEHIND ME, SATAN! YOU ARE A STUMBLING BLOCK TO ME; YOU DO NOT HAVE IN MIND THE THINGS OF GOD, BUT THE THINGS OF MEN.

Jesus TURNED. He recognized Peter’s attempt to manipulate. Notice how Peter took Jesus off away from people. Most manipulating people do their controlling and manipulating in private. They do not want others to know they are CONTROLLING AND MANIPULATING and it is easier to CONTROL AND MANIPULATE a person in private. Most controlling husbands and wives are way more controlling and manipulative at home than in public.

Some people would say, “Well, what is so bad about that? If I am accustomed to it, what is so bad?” The bad thing is this. Please hear this. Control and manipulation stops you from doing what God sent you to do and you are only doing what “Peter” wants you to do. Peter loved Jesus, no doubt, but what Peter was trying to manipulate Jesus into doing was not what God wanted Jesus to do. Peter was not a bad person and neither are most controlling manipulative people we have to handle in life. They simply want us to do what they think we should do and not what God wants us to do. As was Peter, they are stumbling blocks.


Other Related Sermons:

You and the Tomb – Easter sermon

Story that will Never Die – Easter sermon video audio notes

Easter Blood Sacrifice – sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young