A Leader Must Defend Himself Against Disloyalty

The Art of Leadership By Dag Heward-Mills

David was a great king with a great army. He did not just attack people without cause. He rose to defend himself when he was threatened. He had to deal with such threats, no matter the quarters they emerged from. It was this self-defending attitude of David that Hushai the Archite spoke about. When Absalom, David’s son, asked Hushai what to do, Hushai advised Absalom not to pursue his father in the night. He warned Absalom about his father’s reaction to being surrounded and threatened. Absalom knew what Hushai the Arhcite was talking about. He knew that David was an expert at fighting back and extinguishing enemies in such a way that they would never be heard of again.

For, said Hushai, thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, AS A BEAR ROBBED OF HER WHELPS in the field: and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other place: and it will come to pass, when some of them be overthrown at the first, that whosoever heareth it will say, There is a slaughter among the people that follow Absalom. And he also that is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, shall utterly melt: for all Israel knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and they which be with him are valiant men.

2 Samuel 17:7-10

  1. A leader must defend himself against disloyal people by being conscious of the traits and patterns of disloyal men. You must react to disloyalty! Don’t be phlegmatic! Do not overlook such traits and assume that they will be resolved by themselves. This is a threat to your work. Rise up and defend yourself against the threat of disloyalty!

You must then mark and avoid such people so that their venom will be rendered powerless. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17-18). The Bible has prescribed a solution for the problem you are battling with. There are symptoms of different ailments. In the same way, there are symptoms of disloyalty. Just as we do not ignore the symptom of a disease, we should not dismiss the symptoms of disloyalty. There are also traits and patterns of disloyalty. The Bible is clear on how to react to and treat people who exhibit traits and patterns of disloyalty. The Bible says that when you see those who cause divisions mark them and avoid them! A leader needs a strong team working together to achieve his goals and aims. He does not need someone who corrodes the very foundations of the team and causes the team to disintegrate.

  1. A leader must defend himself against disloyal people by casting out scorners who do not really believe in him. There is not good reason to stand in the midst of scorners and let them destroy what you are building. Dismissals, transfers, rotation of people are all important strategies of self-defence. You must be a master of self-defence if you are to build the church successfully. “Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease” (Proverbs 22:10). This is what the Bible says.
  1. A leader must defend himself against disloyal associates by continuously teaching against the bad and poisonous behaviour of disloyalty. Teaching has a real effect and it is powerful in fighting imaginations and thoughts that exalt themselves against the will of God. “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Teaching is a great tool of defence. Teach continuously against untoward behaviour of disloyalty.
  2. A leader must defend himself against disloyal associates by keeping a private life and not revealing everything about himself. Treacherous people want something to talk about. The more they know about you, the more opportunity they have to attack you. The closer they are to you the more opportunity they have to twist what you have revealed about yourself to destroy you. You must defend yourself against such people. Take heed to yourself!

Many leaders often carry on with their work and mind their business. However, they will rise up fiercely against anyone who threatens their work, their efforts and their very existence. Timothy received this instruction from Paul. “Take heed to yourself and save yourself!” Dear leader, let us be guided by this instruction from Paul.