Written in July 2007 based on circumstances I was experiencing. This piece is still relevant in many circles (especially in our churches) today!
I have not been in many leadership positions (I think mainly because I am quite shy), but I have always been intrigued with leaders and I watch them very closely. What I now notice as a common trend is the tendency for leaders to become overconfident in their abilities and in their judgment.
I am certain that many start out shaking in their boots at the task that was laid before them on accepting the role, but as the years passed and certain decisions were successfully made, they become more confident in their ability to lead in that position. Then over time, they began to cross the line….
They may forget that they are also fallible humans, even if others around them are following them or subordinate to them. They may speak to others unkindly and discount others’ opinions (which may be valid ideas or suggestions). They may misjudge character based on their own perceptions and not based on the truth of a matter. They may think that everyone else has “that problem” or “those problems”, but not them. They may have others watching someone they do not trust or whom they think will hurt them or their interests, and manipulation of circumstances and people becomes the norm.
Family life may disintegrate if they take their headiness home with them (and usually, they will). Throwing one’s weight around to show “Who’s boss” may become the order of the day after a while, causing fear and insecurity to take root in the family.
But then, one day it all comes to an end. Why, because God has heard the cries of those who are hurting because of the leadership style they have adopted. Also, God will intervene because of arrogance, which He hates. Proverbs 16:18 states, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Many times such leaders are sure they will never be reprimanded or caught or stripped bare, so they are usually caught by surprise when it happens.
Let us recall Nebuchadnezzar, the king who hardened his heart and craved worship that rightfully ONLY belonged (and still ONLY belongs) to God. He received several warnings until he was given a final warning, which he scoffed. He was sent to crawl on all fours for seven years, living in the wilderness like a wild animal. Once the seven years passed, his right mind came back to him and he acknowledged that God was indeed the only God deserving of worship. (Read the entire chapter of Daniel 4 in the Holy Bible.)
I grieve for some leaders who I am now submitted to in several situations. Please help me pray that they will heed the voice of the Lord (no matter what vessel God uses to deliver His Word) and will allow Him to be the only One who receives the worship and praise He truly deserves.
Let us pray:
Oh God, have mercy on our leaders. Give them humble hearts, hearts willing to learn and submit to Your authority. May they allow you to have free course in their lives. May they never take the credit for anything they have been able to lead successfully, knowing that the success is only granted because You allowed it to be so. And help them to learn about and be mindful of the story of King Nebuchadnezzar and several current examples (in churches and in corporations) we have today.
May we all allow you to have our hearts completely and to stay humble before You both now and forever.