It is not uncommon to hear people speak of the good that has come from a leader even though he or she is toxic. Let's not draw those lines.
Those who suggest emotional or verbal abuse is not really abuse need to consider scripture and psychology.
Timothy Keller writes insightfully, "To be your own god and live for your own glory and power leads to the most bestial and cruel kind of behavior. Pride makes you a predator, not a person."
In the experience of abusive leadership in the home, workplace, and government, it is not uncommon to hear demands of submission as if the leader has absolute and ultimate authority. Biblically, it is not true. Don't be fooled by the blustering.
Wading into the depths of Psalms 44 & 46can be both the healing balm and helpful aid to building boundaries that protect our integrity from those who war against a Biblical understanding of abuse.
We are all dependent. We long for respect and love and relationship. But leaders need to depend on God, not our subordinates.
People were created to love God and neighbor. They were created to care for and keep the world [Genesis 2:15]. To create flourishing. They were not created to sow power and reap abuse.
As we watch current events unfold we are seeing the results of narcissism in bold and deeply disturbing colors.
When I faced off with my mission's leadership, I needed a friend. Sam was there all along preparing me for the stand I needed to take.
Reading the early part of Paul's letter to Titus is at once like sitting at a brightly lit sidewalk cafe with a freshly brewed coffee in hand and curled up in a corner in depression. We need these kinds of leaders.