That’s Not Leadership, That’s Spiritual Abuse

4 min readApr 19, 2020

How should godly leaders look like? They should look like Jesus.

Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash

First, Context.

“You are a womanizer.”

It’s baffling how 4 words made up of 16 letters can cut you right open, unearth the foundation of who you are, and reduce you to nothing more than a label.

Words carry the cosmic weight of an entire universe when coming from a leader whom you believe is an infallible mouthpiece of God. The indictment feels irrevocable.

After all, God can’t be wrong.

Words do not terminate in themselves. The intended effect of each syllable permeates through one’s entire being, tainting the lens in which we perceive and understand the self and the world.

“Let’s call it what it is. It’s spiritual abuse.”

Those were the words of my current church leader. In that very moment, it was as if all the lights in the room came on at once.

I became acutely aware of the tiny voice that whispers during quiet moments. The invasive thought that calls forth condemnation to rain down on me while I lay in bed with my head swallowed up in my new luxury pillow from Spain.

Hence, if you are a believer who struggles with distinguishing godly leadership from harsh