John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

Manipulation Is Bad

Elijah invites Elisha to volunteer for a life-changing ministry. Elisha says, "Let me go home and tell my folks goodbye first." This was probably Elisha's way of saying, "Give me some time to think about this."

Elijah replies, "Hey, take as much time as you want. Don't worry about it."

And then he lets Elisha leave and go home. He doesn't feel the need to say, "But if you don't volunteer, think of what you'll miss out on. And if you don't volunteer, think of what you'll be depriving those people of."

He doesn't say any of that. He doesn't pressure Elisha or coerce him or manipulate the deal at all.

It reminds me of the time a rich young guy came to Jesus and asked, "What do I have to do to be a follower of yours?"

Jesus replied, "You know the Law. Don't steal. Don't lie. Don't commit adultery. Honor your parents. All that stuff."

The guy said, "I know all that. I've done all that since I was a kid. Anything else?"

Jesus said, "Well, there is one thing. You need to trust me more than you trust your stuff. So, go sell everything you own, give the money away to the poor, and then come follow me."

Anyone remember what happened next?

The guy walked away.

Anyone remember what Jesus did then?

He let him.

You know why?

Because manipulation is bad.