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 Fleshly or Spiritual Leader—Which are You?

By caryschmidt | May 24, 2012

Recently I was having a conversation with a wonderful servant of God who has worked for several “high-profile” Christian leaders in the past two decades. This is a person for whom I have the utmost respect—an individual with a very gracious spirit, incredible gift mix, and true servant’s heart. And this is a person who has expended sacrificial service to the Lord with great poise and faithfulness. Yet, in our conversation, I was sad to discover the mistreatment and disrespect that this person had endured from a well-known evangelical leader. The conversation was brief, appropriate, and rather vague, but enough for me to see that this person had lost a lot of respect for someone once held in high esteem.

Flesh is powerful. Flesh is demanding. Flesh in leadership is ugly—really ugly. Flesh in leadership finds it easy to ride roughshod over people. Flesh enjoys “ripping face.” Flesh reasons that someone “deserves it.” Flesh enjoys dominance. Flesh finds fulfillment in being insulting—especially in a group. Flesh feels justified in giving a piece of its mind, putting someone in their place, and reminding everyone who’s really in charge. Flesh often reminds itself how stupid everybody else really is. Flesh loves to assert and reassert itself. Sometimes it masquerades as well-meaning. Sometimes it rationalizes the “ends justifies the means”—after all, the ministry outcome is for the Lord. But for those on the other end of the “flesh trip”—it always hurts.

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