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Summary: a consistent pattern

This is a section of a longer paper. There is a roadmap for the entire paper, and you can download the PDF.


At this point, it is worth recapping the general patterns of SBCMB that we have recognised. The two broad patterns are: defining morality in terms of themselves, and redefining personal/relational reality to suit their view of themselves. This tends to manifest in: fraught relationships with peers, excessive reactions to praise and sympathy, initial selective love-bombing, making themselves the greatest victim, resisting and transgressing personal boundaries, using words persuasively but untruthfully, creating a relational climate that revolves around themselves, reacting to criticism in a self-affirming way, energetically co-opting others to affirm themselves, and expressing feelings of betrayal when serious action is taken.

Of course, as we mentioned above, since we are all sinners, any of us can exhibit some of these behaviours some of the time. This includes Christian leaders. We are not at all suggesting that the occasional appearance of some of these behaviours, especially under stressful conditions, is an indication of SBCMB.[1] Rather, it is the repeated, persistent, ongoing existence of many (or at least a reasonable number) of these specific patterns of behaviour that points towards SBCMB.


[1] Indeed, effective leaders have to make hard decisions: decisions that may actually be right, but which those who follow them might not agree with or even understand, and which might even look wrong to someone who is not fully aware of the situation. Just because a leader has done something we do not agree with or do not understand, does not make them a person who can be labelled this way. In other words, this SBCMB pattern should not be used as a label for all the problems that can arise in life and ministry.

Read the next section: The effect of SBCMB on others


Copyright © 2021 Lionel and Bronwyn Windsor

Note well: Because of time and energy constraints, we’re not personally able to respond to any queries or comments about this paper. So please realise in advance that if you send us a message about this paper, you are unlikely to receive any response from us.

To read the whole paper: Slow-burn crazy-making behaviours

Slow-burn crazy-making behavioursOnline: a roadmap for the entire paper Download the entire PDF

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