Unity is Prohibited by the Need for Control

When someone feels threatened, it is often because of perceived loss or appearance of inadequacy. Leaders, especially, can get to feeling as though they must be in control and have it all together.

Reasons Leaders Feel Threatened:

The threat is not that people disagree with you (believe or feel different than you), challenge your decisions (think different than you), or don't take your advice or guidance (act different than you). Rather, the threat is the loss of status, power, respect, influence, or control perceived to come from the disagreement, challenge, or lack of submission.
Bottom Line: If your leadership hinges on the opinions and following of others, you will not feel affirmed or valued as a leader when faced with resistance. (Gal. 1:10)

Results of Leaders Needing Control:

Sensing a loss of control, you set out to regain control and esteem and usually not in healthy ways.
  • You might lash out in anger.
  • You might put others down to make yourself look better.
  • You might establish unreasonable new rules and policies.
Sensing your need for control, others react in self-protective ways.
  • They might become defensive, leading to a power struggle.
  • They might feel like they must "walk on egg shells" around you, leading to shallow or dishonest discussions with you.
  • They might outwardly submit but inwardly rebel, leading to breaks in relational integrity.
Bottom line: Defensive leaders produce a stressful and divisive environment where misunderstandings and conflict flourish.

Realities for Leaders:

If you are going to get beyond feeling so threatened, then you need to grab hold of certain truths.
  1. You are accountable first and foremost to God for what you do.
  2. Others are accountable first and foremost to God for what they do.
  3. The bigger picture of eternal good needs to be kept before you. It's not about you.
Bottom Line: What others think and believe should be welcomed as opportunities to learn and grow. Ask God if there is something in what they are saying or doing for you to use in order to improve. If not, do what God has given you to do, knowing that you answer to Him. What He thinks matters most and needs to be enough. If it isn't, you will maintain your need for control.
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