There is no place for arrogance. Or entitlement.
Common to the abuser of power in the home, church, organization, or workplace is a sense of entitlement.
Recently, I have been enjoying “The Crown,” a TV series about Queen Elizabeth and the monarchy in Britain. It is fascinating.
It is apparent that the royalty has enjoyed good and humble servants to the people. And it has suffered with arrogant and entitled snobs. These have been a burden to the common people.
Scripture gives no leeway to those who think they are particularly important. The Lord of Hosts does not take kindly to the arrogant. God does not give a hoot for those that think they deserve all the spoils of this life including wealth, honor, or comfort and will do whatever is necessary to gain them.
When David was saved from his enemies (and the wicked King Saul), he wrote a song saying,
You save a humble people,2 Samuel 22:28 (ESV)
but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down.
This is the consistent theme in scripture. God saves humble people. But He judges those who are puffed up with their own importance.
He has shown strength with his arm;Luke 1:51-52 (ESV)
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate
It is the Lord’s work in their hearts. They are born arrogant and self-serving, but by the grace of God, they are made to humble themselves to serve Him.
The arrogant are easy to spot.
- They think they have all the answers.
- They see themselves as better than everyone around them: smarter, better looking, more important.
- They seek control of those who come up against them often in ruthless and shocking ways: angry outbursts, manipulation, isolation, firings.
- They blame others for their own failures or feelings.
- They never ask for help. Never acknowledge weakness.
- They talk a lot about how others need to submit to their authority. They rely on that authority rather than on practicing good and humble leadership.
- They talk a lot about how special their organization, family, church, or business are. Much more special than any other.
- They do not respond to criticism: they get angry, justify, ignore…
These are just a few listed by experts in the field of leadership. [see the P&S Resources page]
It is not uncommon for those caught under such oppressive leadership to wonder if the leader is even a Christian. Their behavior seems so antithetical to Christ.
It is a question that cannot be answered in this life by God’s created beings.
But, in the process of church discipline as described in Matthew 18, the church is to consider the unrepetant “as a Gentile and a tax collector.” This has normally been understood to mean, “treat him as a unbeliever.”
Note, he is to be seen (or treated) this way. Our judgment may be incorrect but the arrogant is clearly not following the Lord and cannot have assurance of salvation. And, the church should not give him or her that assurance.
For the humble leaders…there is much assurance and encouragement found in scripture.
He leads the humble in what is right,Psalm 25:9 (ESV)
and teaches the humble his way.
The LORD lifts up the humble;Psalm 147:6 (ESV)
he casts the wicked to the ground.
Are you under the tyranical hand of a toxic leader? A “mocker,” as Dan Allender (and Proverbs) calls them?
Be assured that the Lord will, in time, lift you up and cast the arrogant to the ground.
Are you a tyranical or toxic leader? Turn to the Lord. Trusting in Him and repentance are your only assurance of His saving work in your life.