“For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face” (2 Cor 11:20).
It is not always easy to identify abusive leadership, particularly when we are the ones being abused. That said, there are a few tell-tale signs of abusive leaders. First, they always break the broken by crushing them under the weight of impossible religious burdens (Ezek 34:4; Matt 23:4). Second, they always puff up the proud by giving their “obedient” followers a sense of spiritual elitism (Luke 18:11). Third, they always get the glory, since they (and not Yeshua) serve as the models of Christian perfection within their congregations (Gal 6:12). The first step in your journey to freedom is to stop putting these oppressors at the center of your spiritual life! Second step, run to Jesus!
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30).