Paper heart almost completely ripped in half hanging on a string with black background

Abuse of Power Is Never Acceptable

God asks two primary things from every person on the planet:

  1. Love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.
  2. Love others as we love ourselves. (Matt. 22:36-40)

The first thing about love is—it does no harm to others. (Rom. 13:10)

God gives people leadership positions in various areas in life to provide for, nurture, protect, and shepherd others according to His will and His purposes. Never to hurt them physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

People are sinful so sometimes they choose to abuse their positions, but that is not God’s design. It is wrong. It has to stop.

God’s Design for Leaders

In God’s design, anyone with a position of leadership or authority answers to Him and to other earthly authorities. There must be accountability.

Leaders are to always serve humbly and selflessly as they imitate the sacrificial love of Jesus. Only those who are far from God dare to use a position of authority for selfish purposes or to hurt those in their care. (Matt. 20:25-28)

God’s desire for His people’s leaders is this:

Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.

Jer. 3:15

Jesus is the ultimate Good Shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep. The Good Shepherd feeds and waters His sheep, protects them from harm, binds up their wounds, carries the injured on His shoulders close to His heart, and draws the wandering lost sheep back to His side. (Ps. 23)

God hates when leaders misuse their positions to hurt His beloved sheep:

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,”declares the Lord.

Jer. 23:1

If a leader abuses his/her position of authority, there should also be other people in positions of authority who can hold the abuser accountable.

Only God holds absolute power. Only He has absolute authority. Only He is completely good. Only He is worthy of our full faith, worship, trust, and total submission.

One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Those who abuse their positions of leadership will answer for every wrong thing they have done, as will we all. But those in positions of leadership will be held to a higher standard. ( Luke 8:17-18, 2 Cor. 5:10, James 3:1)

This knowledge should be humbling for anyone who leads whether it is a husband, a parent, a pastor, a teacher, a supervisor, a government official, or someone in any position of God-given authority.

We Need the Power of God to Love Others

We all need Jesus desperately. We all need Him to crucify our old sinful nature that delights in harming others and we need Him to provide a new nature for us so we can love with God’s divine love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

1 Cor. 13:4-8

Love acts in the power of the Holy Spirit and has the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23) If we know Jesus, this is how we will treat other people.

Jesus has done everything for us on the cross to provide us with the ability to stand in right relationship with God and to empower us with His goodness so we can live holy lives that please Him and bless others.

May we live lives of love. Loving God. Loving all people. Outdoing one another in showing honor to each other.

The Path to Healing Is Repentance

Jesus can heal us individually. He can heal broken marriages. He can heal our communities and our nation if we will each repent of our own sin and turn to Him by faith.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chron. 7:14

It is time for us to repent of (turn completely away from) anything that offends God in our hearts and lives. It is time for us to pray for God’s mercy and healing on our marriages, our churches, our schools, our government, our towns, our cities, and our land. It is time for us to relate to other people rightly in our thoughts, in our motives, in our words, and in our actions.

Time may be very short. We must do whatever we need to do to be right with the Lord and with others today.

The pathway to healing for people is Jesus. He is able to destroy the dividing wall. He is able to destroy darkness and hatred. He is able to cure us of violence and sin.

For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.

Eph. 2:14

May we each turn to Him wholeheartedly and invite Him to ruthlessly tear out any and every toxic thing in our souls. May we humbly step down from the throne of our lives and may we allow Him, the Prince of Peace, to reign on the throne of our lives, in our families, and everywhere.

I’ve got to ask myself tough questions and ask God to help me see the truth about myself like:

  • Do I really love and desire God far more than anything or anyone else?
  • Do I act with humility or with pride?
  • Do I expect others to bow to me and my will or do I humbly bow to God’s will?
  • Do I use others to get something for myself?
  • Do I cause harm to my spouse, my children, or others in my life?
  • Do I think I am better than other people? Do I look down on others
  • Am I misusing or abusing any position of authority I may hold?
  • Am I loving those God has entrusted to my care the way God expects me to?
  • Do I insult others, say hurtful things, or treat them disrespectfully? Am I harsh with people? Do I tend to raise my voice and act in anger?
  • Do I use any power I have to try to make life harder for other people
  • Do I engage in violence or threats?
  • Do I act in sinful anger that displeases God?
  • Am I treating everyone with proper honor and respect?
  • Do I have hatred, malice, rage, or selfishness in my heart toward anyone?
  • Am I fully yielded to the Lordship of Jesus in my life or am I holding things back?
  • Am I cherishing anything God calls sin in my heart?
  • Do I treat everyone in my family and my life with God’s divine love and the power of the Holy Spirit?
  • Is there anyone I need to apologize and repent to?
  • Do I need to make amends to anyone in my family, at church, at work, or in my community?

Jesus alone can heal us.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Rom. 12:21

NOTE – For wives/children who are not safe, if it is possible, please reach out for help. How I long for everyone to be safe in their own homes!

Related

What Is Spiritual Abuse? by www.gotquestions.org

Does God Give Any One Individual Spiritual Authority Over Another Individual? by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say about Authority? by www.gotquestion.org

When Is Civil Disobedience Allowed for a Christian? by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say About Abuse? by www.gotuqestions.org

What Is Servant Leadership? by www.gotquestions.org

Where Do Rage, Hatred, and Violence Fit into Our Lives as Believers in Christ?

The ABC’s of Salvation

  • A = Admit you are a sinner and you can’t be perfect and holy enough in God’s eyes to be right with Him on your own. You can’t earn heaven by your own goodness. Turn away from your sin to God. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23
  • B = Believe that Jesus died on your behalf to pay the price for your sin and to give you a way to be right with God – to be forgiven. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord.” Rom. 6:23
  • C = Confess that Jesus is your Lord – this means, Jesus is now your Master and you live your life for Him and His glory rather than for yourself. You say it out loud to others and you live it from now on. “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved.” Rom. 10:9-10

God’s Incredible Plan for You!

How to Influence an Unbelieving Husband for Christ.

Lordship Salvation by www.gotquestions.org

16 thoughts to “Abuse of Power Is Never Acceptable”

  1. Thank you for not focusing on race like everyone else. Thank you for not posting about black lives matter, because I don’t feel that Jesus would be wearing that T-shirt if He was here on earth. I’m African American but a Christ follower first and foremost. What you’ve said is exactly what I was talking with my mom about yesterday. What’s going on isn’t a skin issue, it’s a heart issue. It’s a lack of compassion, a lack of love for our neighbor and God. Repentance is needed. All lives matter to Him. And a lot of what’s going on is just a distraction from the root of the problem.

    1. Teresa,

      A lot of people don’t realize this but Scripture teaches we all descend from the same parents. And then from Noah. We are all related.

      Nothing matters more to Jesus than our love for each other and our unity as the Body of Christ.

      People will know we are His by our love and the way we treat others.

      And yes, we are living in the Great Apostasy. So there are MASSIVE heart issues going on because people are increasingly rejecting God and His wisdom and going their own way, which is the enemy’s way.

      Jesus is about peace, love, unity, and harmony.
      Satan is about division, rage, hatred, violence, and destruction.

      How I long for everyone to choose Jesus and the narrow path that leads to Life.

      Yes, repentance is needed. Every person is created in the image of God and is valuable to Him and to those who love the Lord.

      Much love!

  2. Thank you for the great post April. I appreciate how the Lord has gifted you with wise words of wisdom.

  3. I’m glad you didn’t stay silent April. But just so you know, contrary to any other comment you might receive, I too am black and would have been very happy if you’d posted about race or even said black lives matter. You didn’t. That’s fine. But it’s also fine if you do, so please don’t think your black readers don’t want you to talk about civil rights or race. The Bible talks about race and ethnicity so Christians shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it. The new testament is full of references to Jews and gentiles and Romans (Europeans) and many other cultures. Jesus himself knew what it was to be despised for his race, and knew first hand what it was to be beaten by guards, and even killed. So did the disciples. Thankfully the Bible says that in Christ there is no racial division, and we are all god’s people regardless of whether we are ethnic Jews, regardless of whether we are men or women. Galatians 3 v 28

    1. May,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights, dear sister! <3

      So much has been on my mind this week.

      The racial tension completely breaks my heart and has been very much part of my thoughts and prayers. My heart aches deeply over America.

      It is difficult to see us in this rebellion against God and to see the pain it brings. Especially knowing that if we would simply humble ourselves and turn from our sin, God would graciously heal.

      That is my prayer! For millions to turn and come to Christ. Who knows? Perhaps God, in His mercy, will use all of the trials and pain this year to breed soft soil in our hearts that we might see how much we all need Him.

      I long to see people feel safe in their communities.
      I want to see the police treating people well and the community treating the police well.

      I want to see the government doing what is best in God's sight for the people.

      I want to see people all treating one another with honor, dignity, and respect.

      Yes, that is one of my favorite verses! Galatians 3:18! In Jesus, we are one. Men and women, all skin colors, all socio-economic backgrounds. When we have Jesus, we are one in Him. Isn't that amazing!?!?!

      The dividing wall of hostility is destroyed in Jesus on the cross and we can have unity, love, and peace with God and with each other.

      I have heard from women who have been terribly spiritually abused (and even sexually abused) by churches, church leaders, pastors and those who should be the most Christlike people. Some of these women were harmed decades ago and have never recovered. How horrific an abuse this is.

      I have also heard from numerous women in other countries lately where women are treated terribly and men are given freedom and permission in their cultures to beat their wives, commit adultery, and abuse their position as head of the home with no accountability. The wives have no recourse. The church does nothing. The government does nothing. Women are told just to go home and submit to terrible abuse. To husbands who are unfaithful. It is unbelievable to me that wives are suffering so. And there are some wives suffering like that here, as well. They often see "respect your husband" and think that means they have to let their husbands strangle them or abuse their children. And there are some abusive husbands who use my words and the Bible to justify their abuse. How blinded we can be by sin and pride.

      Domestic violence has increased greatly all over the world in the past 2.5 months. Especially against women and children. Our homes and families should be the safest places on earth.

      I've also heard from some children recently with moms who are so strict and overbearing that the children are being significantly harmed. The damage will be long-term damage. And it is so unnecessary!

      I pray for God's healing and intervention in all of these situations. How much His heart is grieved! I can't imagine it!

      May our hearts bleed over the things that grieve God's heart.

      May we turn to God and may we use the power we have to bless and do what is right. What a different world it would be!

      May we be His instruments of peace, justice, love, and healing. May He empower us to shine more brightly for Jesus than ever and to be united as the people of God that we might be used by Him to set the captives free and to point people to Jesus, the only source of peace and hope.

  4. Abuse of authority is pretty serious. My own experience of it is that it makes you mistrust the very idea of authority and also makes it hard to believe in things like justice, mercy and truth. Which tends to affect one’s idea of God and what He is like. April I am glad to hear you speak of these things and call them what they are. We often need to hear truth repeated in order to have the courage to recognize and reject lies.

    I wish police officers and any others who are given the power to enforce and sanction, would realize just how much what they do matters. When they use their authority to treat someone like they don’t matter or to unjustly use it as a way of getting away with harming someone under the guise of justice, they deeply wound people right in the center of where it really counts. They wound our trust, and with it, our belief in good and in God. They also injure our concept of the value of a human being.They make mockery of ideas like honor, duty, respect and truth.

    Why the police don’t seem to realize that their role in our society is the very embodiment of all that is good I don’t know. They have a very HUGE and significant role in society. To see a police officer treating a fellow human being as if his life did not matter and ignoring his statements about not being able to breathe was heartbreaking. This isn’t an isolated incident or an American incident either. I have a friend who is part of a bi racial couple and she had an abusive husband who would threaten her and her new husband and leave bomb threats when he would find where she lived again. They had called the police and one of the officers kept addressing my friend’s black husband as “Boy”, as in, “What did you say, boy”? In a clearly threatening tone. He wanted my friend’s husband to get riled and talk back to him so he could have reason to rough him up and cuff him. I live in Canada. This shamed me to hear that our officers do such things.

    The bible says that they represent God :Romans 13:3-5 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the one in authority? Then do what is right, and you will have his approval. 4For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not carry the sword in vain. He is God’s servant, an agent of retribution to the wrongdoer. 5Therefore it is necessary to submit to authority, not only to avoid punishment, but also as a matter of conscience.

    How significant is THAT? It’s a huge honor to have that role. Again I wish they realized their value and acted accordingly.

    1. seventimes,

      Abuse of authority is very serious. I remember vividly how much this issue has impacted you and caused much harm in your life in various areas.

      Yes, when God-given authority is misused, it causes unspeakable harm in so many ways that can last for generations. It does hurt people’s ability to trust God and His goodness, because these positions are supposed to be used to accomplish God’s will and to do what is right and good.

      We depend on those who are in leadership positions to represent God well and to uphold justice, fairness, honor, respect, truth, and duty. They are supposed to bring order, protection, and godly servant-leadership.

      Our nation and each individual in it needs Jesus. Only He can heal the gaping wounds we have.

      I have been thinking a lot about the revivals of long ago this week. In the Welsh Revival, over 100 years ago, God’s Spirit moved so mightily across the land that people would walk into a church where revival was happening, and immediately be convicted and repent of their sins. The alcoholics gave up their alcohol. Saloon owners closed their bars. Criminals reformed their ways. People were powerfully transformed by the Lord. Coal miners posted Bible verses in the coal mines. Newspapers posted the number of people saved. Whole communities were changed. The whole country was changed. Crime dropped so sharply that the police officers had nothing to do and formed singing groups. Court rooms had no cases.

      My prayer is that there might be another great revival. May the Lord bring eternal fruit from the painful mess and chaos going on. May He draw many to Himself! Beginning with believers, may He expose every sin and shine His blazing light of Truth into our hearts and lives that we might hate our sin and repent with mourning and fasting. And may we then be instruments in His hands to lead countless souls to salvation and discipleship. May the Lord set the captives free and prepare a Great Harvest during this last hour. May His Church demonstrate the love and unity that can only come from the power of the Holy Spirit. May the world see Jesus in each of us.

      Thank you for sharing!

  5. When people are transformed by the power of Jesus, they are changed.

    They realize the folly of favoritism, racism, bigotry, hatred, and partiality. They realize the value of every human being. They humbly approach leadership positions with great reverence for God and trembling, realizing the accountability they have.

    They love God and love people with God’s divine love.

    Lord,
    We invite You to do the miraculous in America even this week. We have wandered far from You and Your ways. Open our eyes to our sin. Let there be a mass spirit of repentance and humility. Let us all turn from any evil ways and yield to Your Lordship, Please heal our land by Your power alone and for Your glory!
    Amen!

  6. Interesting that former revivals are on your mind. I have been thinking about them and reading about them of late too. I have recently reconnected with a friend I was on the outs with and that has been one of our conversations. We were talking about the revival in the Hebrides ad how it started with two very elderly women, one of whom was blind, who were praying for revival. I related to her a prophecy I had heard in a church many years ago. There were often supposed words in church and many of them lacked much substance so I didn’t pay them much attention. This particular one seemed to be real and it went something along the lines of that there was going to be revival that would sweep across the land like a tidal wave. But first, judgement began with the house of God and whatever could be shaken would be shaken and that we should pray for the weak that they would stand during this time.

    I never forgot this. I was 18 when I heard it and I am 55 now. I remember listening intently and asking God to place me right where the wave came down the hardest so I wouldn’t miss anything. I agree with you in prayer. Yes Lord Jesus, in Your name move upon our hearts in such a way that it is so obvious that it is really, truly You, and break the chains that bind and the snares that entangle. You have said that You have come to destroy the works of the devil, to set captives free, to heal broken hearts and to open blind eyes. Lord Jesus please come and do this for us. In Your name, Amen.

    1. SevenTimes,
      Thank you for praying with me. The church needs to lead the way in repentance, humility, and brokenness over sin. I’d love to see what God would do if His people were to do this and pray fervently for our nation!

  7. Hi April,
    This post made me think of Nicolas Madura, the president of Venezuela, who has ruined Venezuala’s economy. Now 30 million people are starving. Their average income in Venezuela is US$4 per month! Yet, he refuses to admit that he has failed and step down. He is hanging on to power with all his might. It just breaks my heart and makes me cry to think about the suffering he has caused. How does the Bible command that we act towards cruel dictators like him? Is prayer our only recourse?

    1. Nneka,

      It is extremely tragic to see how some tyrants abuse entire countries. Like Venezuela, N. Korea, China, Russia, Iran, and many others now and throughout history. It’s almost like an abusive marriage but instead of one woman and her children being abused, it can be millions of people.

      This issue has been the subject of much debate and prayer over the centuries.

      Here are some posts that may be helpful as a beginning introduction to the issue:
      https://www.gotquestions.org/American-Revolution-Romans-13.html
      https://www.gotquestions.org/civil-disobedience.html
      https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/did-jesus-teach-pacifism
      https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/martyrs/dietrich-bonhoeffer.html

      The last post is about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a German preacher who initially promoted praying against Hitler. He began as a pacifist. In time, he eventually decided he needed to do something to try to stop him because he was killing so many innocent people. Bonheoffer became a German double agent to help save many Jews. Sadly, he was discovered and imprisoned for two years then killed just a few weeks before WWII was over. You can read his struggles with this issue in his writings.

      He wrote much about cheap grace:
      “Cheap grace is preaching forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession. … Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

      Much love, dear sister!

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