Paul wrote his close friend, Gaius. He let Gaius know he wrote to the church, however, Diotrephes did not want anything to do with them. Anyone wanting to support Paul’s group would be put out of the church. Paul planned to call him on his malicious gossip toward them. He quickly pointed out…Diotrephes loved to be first. Yes! This is in the Bible. No, this story did not come from the gossip corner. The Bible does not miss a beat. I am sure we have all encountered a Diotrephes at least once in our lifetime. What do we do with people like this? Paul planned on confronting him to set the record straight. Sadly, we are not told the rest of the story.
We can remove the individuals and take a deeper look into the underlying issues. Pride tried to prevent the Word of God in Spirit and Truth from being present in its attempt to take over the church. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18) We know satan is here to steal, kill, and destroy. The face behind pride is satan. He is the force behind most attacks within the church. I am talking directly to the conflict within our church houses. We must understand a new convert’s need for a lifeline. They are like a newborn’s heart beat. We watch every breath a new baby breathes mesmerized by their new life. This is the same approach we need to take with a new believer.
Discern: good and evil
In order to prevent our churches from falling into the hands of leaders like Diotrephes, we have to discern between good and evil. We have to know who to accept and who to resist. Birds of feathers do stick together. The closer we walk with Jesus, the better we discern. In all the mechanics of the church, we have to disciple Christians on every maturity level. We never need to think we arrive. We always need to study God’s Word taking deeper steps each time. I have come to the conclusion, we spend a good amount of time maturing in our christian walk. It is not until this point, God can trust us with higher callings. Then we mature in our purpose all over again. All for God’s glory and building His kingdom.