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The Pain and Lessons of Ineffective Leadership

By: Crysteena Douglas

In the Bible, countless relationships model the ideal regarding spiritual lineage and parentage. Take Abraham and Isaac, for example. This example was a biological father and son duo whose faith in God was tested concerning their relationship. Thankfully, priorities were straight, with God coming first. Because this duo's vertical line was prioritized, their horizontal connection was secured.

A silhouette of a man with folded arms

Then we have Saul and David. Saul was the incumbent king, and David was a shepherd boy. If you're well versed in Biblical literature, you know Saul ended up hating David to the point of wanting to kill him. This relationship could have gone so differently if Saul the King had maintained that vertical connection. He lost his way and began looking at David as competition. In reality, it wasn't competition that David offered up; it was a request to be groomed and mentored for leadership under the reigning king. Saul didn't see it that way.

Through David's running for his life and leaving the palace, he miraculously kept his love and honor for Saul the whole time. Would we have done the same? I've heard the story of David and Saul recounted many times, but I've never heard anyone mention how Saul's behavior must have hurt David. He is presented as gallant and brave, but couldn't he have also been broken and crushed by Saul's rejection of him? Why wouldn't he be? As much as he loved Jonathan, Saul's son, do we believe he had no love for the king?

If you've found yourself in David's position of loving, then being hurt by someone in leadership, specifically in ministry or church settings, I want to encourage you and offer some tips in hope.

The Painful Lesson of Ineffective Leadership

There is life after our leaders disappoint us, and the experience may allow us to pivot and check our priorities. I had an experience like this, and all I can say is, "To God be the glory." It was the butchering my heart needed to survive. "What?" you may ask me,

"What do you mean?"

I loved my leader so much that it may have bordered on sin - idolatry. It can be easy if we're not intentional for love and honor to worship a golden idol. We start meaning well, but suddenly, we are bedazzled by grace and anointing. The anointing draws people in and draws us to them, but this is a stronghold that must break once established. No one comes before God, even when idolatry has insidiously stepped in.

The Healing After the Pain

God is so jealous He will stop at nothing to have us for Himself; just read the book of Ezekiel. It is the tale of a jealous God who will share the hearts of His people with no one. He will spare no expense to have us for His own, even if that means our hearts being devastated by our leaders. It will lead us back to Him, where we belong. The heartbreak caused by hurt from a leader is healable and recoverable. It positions us to never fall for the 'okie doke' again - that being over-exalting someone God has set over us to guide and instruct us. Who of us can be honest about falling into this trap? Few may be willing to admit it because there is so much shame and judgment in the church. I'm more inclined to be free and set free than to be bound and enslaved. Let's tell the truth and carefully examine how our hearts went astray to circumvent it ever happening again.

Christian quote: "It's a part of our human solves to err, but it's part of the divinity we carry to triumph over every trap from the enemy."

Some people's illustriousness, grace, and anointing have made them prime targets of idolatry within the church. They have to watch themselves from allowing others to hold them this way, and those led by them have to guard their hearts from idolatry. There's a temptation on both ends of the spectrum. No one's immune. It's a part of our human selves to err, but it's a part of the divinity we carry to triumph over every trap from the enemy.

I'm thankful for the heart wounds my leader caused me because it created a paradigm shift that immediately exalted God as my healer. My heart was so broken. I, like David, acknowledged my sin, confessed, and allowed God to heal me. I forgave my leader and gave them into God's hand because they still belong to Him whether or not they hurt me. Respecting and honoring them is paramount. I cannot be offended.

It's important for us not to stand offended by a leader because it can potentially block us from hearing or receiving God's word from them, and we still need to accept this. Our lives may depend on it.

Heal and forgive the ineffective leader and let God deal with them. He's the only one who can. Don't take matters into your own hands. You may destroy yourself. At the end of the day, they're still God's anointed, and you are too. Creating some distance between you and them may be necessary for a season. Don't let your heart harden during this time.

God says, "Return to me, and I will return to you" Malachi 3:7. Let's return to our first love.

He's missed you.

The Writer

A picture of a blogger.

Crysteena Douglas is an avid real estate investor building a team with Renatus. She empowers others to be financially independent while establishing a real estate business empire one step at a time.

Protecting and equipping the body of Christ is of utmost importance. She currently lives in Southern California.

Crysteena writes Christian Encouragement for the Inspire To Hope blog.

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