May 15, 2013
Diotrephes was one of those folks who just loved the limelight. It was all a matter of pride, and Pride leads to conflict; pride was killing his church.
According to John, Diotrephes' biggest snares were his tongue and his "ownership" of the church. He was prating, gossiping against the leadership of John. This word "prating" seems so innocent, when we call it "jus' talk." I once served a church in a community where the locals had a common saying – Well, we’re bad to talk about each other, but when you need something – we’re here for each other. Christians do not gossip about each other! We cannot help forming opinions about things, but to spew everything out that is inside, just because you like to hear your own opinions, is prating, and John called that evil!
Diotrephes seemed to think that he owned the church, and would not warm-up to other leaders (John, in particular). Love is not rude. Diotrephes was rude, and that is not characteristic of someone who loves God, and would live the Christian walk. What is needed in a case like this is confession and a new start.
So…do you have a little Diotrephes tendency?
· Are there folks at church you’d like to see join another church…maybe across town?
· Are there some leaders who just “tick you off”?
· Have you been tempted to criticize or gossip about that leader who just doesn’t come up to your expectations?
· Are you the leader…and you feel that way about some of the followers?
Here’s what Jesus told his disciples about the way to deal with pride:
So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. Mark 10:42 - 44 (NLT)
That’s a good target to shoot at today!