Diotrephes Has Issues!

3 John 1:10: "Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church."

Diotrephes has issues! His issues stem from what verse nine tells us, that he “loveth to have the preeminence”. In other words, he just had to be number one at all times. This kind of Diotrephes spirit often rises up its ugly head in any situation where it recognizes that God is doing a work, and thus feels the need to fight. Satan always finds someone he can try to use to become a distraction, and to sow discord among the brethren.

However, I wish not to focus so much on verse nine, but verse ten, which shows us how this spirit should be dealt with in the church. Paul says, “…if I come, I will remember his deeds…” In other words, Paul is not going to simply overlook or ignore the problem. He is going to deal with it. Any time there is a divisive spirit manifesting itself through someone in the church, it must be dealt with by Spirit-filled, strong leadership. If you ignore it, it will not go away; instead, it will just grow on you and get bigger! That is why it needs to be stopped; otherwise it will become a monster and do irreversible damage to the body of Christ.

It is interesting that this spirit is so possessive and self-centered that it will not allow you to be friends and fellowship with anyone it doesn’t approve of. If you do, you will be next on its “X” list. It’s not just happy talking about and running down its list of hated individuals, but it will dare anyone who disagrees with its discourse to do anything about it. It especially thrives through intimidation. If you have someone in your church who uses intimidation to promote himself into authority, without any character to back him, then you have identified a Diotrephes spirit.

My advice to any pastor or church leader facing this in your church: don’t be intimidated! They may talk, and they may divide, but if you will rise up as the leader of your church in a boldness guided by the Spirit of God, you can overcome this divisive spirit. You may lose some in the process, but in the end, you will win so many more than you lost, simply because a kingdom divided against itself shall not stand!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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