Dr. Jack L. Arnold

Lesson 4






I.                               Pride: “The Lord detests all the proud of heart” (Prov. 16:5).

A.          This is the most abhorrent sin to God, and those who are proud are the least conscious of their pride.

B.          Tests for pride

1.           Test of precedence. What is the reaction when another is promoted over you or outshines you in service or gifts?

2.           Test of sincerity.  How well do you take criticism from others?  You can give criticism but can you take it?

3.           Test of criticism.  Does criticism arouse hostility and resentment in you and cause you to resort to self-justification?

C.           All the sins that might disqualify a leader fall under the sin of pride.


II.                            Jealousy

A.          Jealousy happens when someone has something or does something we want or would like to do.

B.          Jealousy causes one to be threatened by all rivals.  It causes insecurity in one’s position or prestige.

C.           True leaders should only be jealous for God’s glory.


III.                         Egotism

A.          An egotistic person is one who magnified his own attainments or importance.  He “toots his own horn.”  He evaluates everything in terms of himself rather than in relation to others and ultimately to God.

B.          A good test is to notice how you react to praises from men who are your peers.  Do you attempt to belittle or to detract from others receiving praise?

C.           A true leader loves to give praise to others and expects none in return.


IV.                         Popularity

A.          To seek popularity is to want the approval of people.  It is wanting to be better than others.  It is an exaltation of one above another—“I am of Paul.  I am of Apollos . . .” (1 Cor. 3:4-6; 9).

B.          To want popularity at any cost is a mark of spiritual immaturity and carnality.

C.           Popularity comes to some people in the sovereign purposes of God, but a leader must not foster popularity through manipulation and lies.

D.          True leaders turn their popularity towards Christ (1 Cor. 3:5-6).

E.          A test is to ask yourself when popularity comes do you feel a sense of power, of being better than others, of controlling others?  If so, you are abusing the popularity God gave you.


V.                            Infallibility (Being unteachable)

A.          A person may get the feeling that he has arrived spiritually, intellectually and emotionally and cannot be taught any more or be any better.  He is always right, always knows God’s will and always has an answer for everything.

B.          This person may never admit failure, mistakes or sin.  He will not yield to other’s evaluation of him.  He tends to blame others for everything (victim mentality).

C.           A true leader is always open to learn new things and accepts constructive criticism without grumbling.  He evaluates all criticisms to find out what truth is in them, but may not necessarily do all, because it is not practical to do so.


VI.                         Indispensability

A.          This person has an exaggerated sense of his own importance.  He wrongly reasons, “They can’t get along without me,” or even more insidious, “God can’t get along without me.”

B.          He does not have the honesty to evaluate his own contribution to the organization objectively, and most often others won’t evaluate for fear of offending.

C.           A true leader is always trying to work himself out of a job, and is willing to leave a situation if it will truly further the Kingdom of God.


VII.                      Covetousness

A.          Covetousness is to wrongfully desire other’s possessions or position.  It is seeking great things for oneself without considering God in the process (Jer. 46:5).

B.          It may be abusing power for personal gain—money, position, prestige.

C.           It is focusing on the things of the world and not God (1 John 2:15-17).

D.          Covetousness (greed) is a form of idolatry (Col. 3:5) because money, position and prestige are put before God (Eccl. 5:10).


VIII.                   Depression

A.          Depression is an emotional and mental state that brings deep sadness and gloom.  All leaders have ups and downs in the ministry, but depression is a prolonged state, causing a person to feel trapped inside himself.

B.          Depression causes a person to go inward, loose perspective and have a false sense of values.  While many great leaders have gone through times of depression, it is impossible to lead while in a state of depression.  Poor decisions are usually made when one is in depression.

C.           Those in a clinical depression should seek spiritual help from Christ and friends, should seek medical help from a doctor and should seek emotional help from a counselor.


IX.                          Self-indulgence

A.          This shows a lack of personal discipline in small things (feeding the flesh) which may result in bigger acts of the flesh—sexual immorality, approval of people, negative treating of people due to pride.

B.          The key is moderation with self-discipline.  Do what the Bible allows only couple it with self-discipline and moderation (1 Cor. 6:12).  We are not to be mastered by anything or anyone but Christ; we are not to be brought under the power of any questionable practice or habits.  We are to set aside any questionable practice that will cause a Christian brother to stumble or affect our Christian testimony before the world (1 Cor. 8:13; 10:31-33; Rom. 14:21).


X.                             Immorality

A.          Acts of sexual immorality, such as premarital sex, extramarital sex (adultery), homosexuality and bestiality disqualify a person from leadership.  The consequences of sexual immorality are devastating for a pastor.

B.          If leaders fall into sexual immorality, they should resign their position and seek professional help.  There should be a time of restructuring one’s life, values and priorities before any other position is sought after.

C.           God will judge fornicators (premarital sex) and adulterer (extramarital sex) (Heb. 13:4).