Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Spirit of Jezebel at Church


When you hear the Old Testament story of Jezebel, it's very hard not to think about what psychologists now call malignant narcissism. Her name is often used to characterize a manipulative and deceitful woman, who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

When morally compromised people see something they want, they decide to pursue it. This could be someone else's job, their volunteer position on a church committee, a friendship or even a marital partner. In the case of Jezebel, she wanted her husband to acquire a vineyard, which the owner didn't want to sell. So she devised a scheme to get that land, which involved having the landowner put to death.

Because Jezebel was married to a king, she was able to follow through on her desires. The owner of the vineyard was brought before a court of law on false charges, and sentenced to death. This left Jezebel, and her husband, Achab, free to seize the property.

You will find all types of people at church. The vast majority are good. They want to serve God and serve their neighbor. However, in some parishes, or communities, the spirit of Jezebel has gotten the upper hand. Oftentimes this happens because an over-involved woman, or even a small, but tightly knit, group of them, has gained too much control. Because the resident Jezebel is so conniving, the pastor is virtually powerless to stop her.

I could be wrong, but it's my firm belief that we're seeing more and more of the spirit of Jezebel in these times. God is watching everything. He is allowing this to play out for a greater good, known only to Him right now. Eventually, whatever's going on at your parish will stop. All Jezebels eventually meet their own end, and we have to pray they find a way to order their lives according to God's plan, not theirs.

Meanwhile, if a Jezebel is running the show in your church, and she's making life difficult for you, think about leaving. You'll be much happier in a new parish.

For additional reading on female malignant narcissism, please read my Female Bullies blog.

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