Today, Wednesday October 20
Responding to a Diotrephes
3 John 1:9-11 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.
The Apostle John points out at least four characteristics of a “Diotrephes” that might be in your life or church. Then he gives a word on how to respond to someone like him who wants the “preeminence” and is always negative, critical and causing division, tension, or contention in the church fellowship. As we look at all four of these traits together we will notice that they all something in common.
First, Diotrephes “did not receive John”. He didn’t want him around. Second, Diotrephes was a gossip spreading malicious and slanderous lies about John. He puts down others to try to make himself look better. Third, Diotrephes “did not receive the brethren.” He didn’t want anyone else around who might expose his evil deeds and lies. And fourth, Diotrephes removed anyone in the church who would try and receive the associates of the Apostle John.
Did you notice what these four things have in common? A Diotrephes does not want anyone around who might expose him. In other words, he hated the light! Light always exposes and dispels the darkness. In Hebrews 11:7, we read that Noah built an ark and saved his family, but at the same time “he condemned the world.” Just the presence, of a good and Godly person, is a rebuke and condemnation to an evil and bad person. That’s why when you do what is good and follow the ways of God you will be hated and persecuted at home and work.
Remember Jesus said if the world hated Him, it would hate us also (John 15:18-25). If we are not careful we will focus on and spend too much time on the negative people in our lives and these “Diotrephes” will drain us of our spiritual energy and enthusiasm. So what did John tell us to do?
John first told us about the good man, Gaius before he deals with the bad man, Diotrephes. And he finishes the letter by telling us about another good man named Demetrius. For every evil and bad person in the church there are a lot more good people. That is why John encourages us “to imitate and follow what is good” (v. 11). Be thankful for the wonderful, positive, godly people in your life and your church and stay away from the negative critical ones. God will take care of them in due time Himself! John said he would deal with Diotrephes when he would come to visit the church.
Remember darkness cannot stand the light. It will disappear when the light is allowed to shine! If enough good people, who are “walking in the light” stand up together, you won’t notice the darkness anymore! It will disappear and so will the “Diotrephes”. They can’t stand the light and they will be exposed and leave!!!!!!