III John 9-10 “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.”
Diotrephes was a terrible church member! Unfortunately, he is alive and well, and he lives in a neighborhood near you. John tells us that he loved to be first, which means he loved to be in control. He was mean-spirited, and he was a malicious gossip. He did not show hospitality to those outside the church, and he showed much hostility to those inside the church.
People like Diotrephes can be formidable opponents. But they can only control things if we let them. If we see someone who is controlling, mean-spirited, and hostile, we must not allow them to have the control they desire! If we let them have their way, they will eventually destroy everyone around them.
If we take a stand against them for what is right, they will put up a fight. But if we don’t back down, they eventually will. They will probably leave, and go look for another group or person or situation to control. But if each of us will take a stand for the truth, then the Diotrephes of this world will eventually be outnumbered, and will give up.
Let us make sure, however, that in opposing Diotrephes, we don’t become like him. Our words and actions must always be controlled by love, not by a desire to win or to have our way. When we treat others with the kind of love Christ offers, everyone comes in first, don’t you think?
Dear Father, Please help me to be like John, and take a stand against people who are causing damage and disruption. Please keep me from ever becoming like Diotrephes.