Diotrophes or Demetrius?
I have become concerned recently that far too many of our American population is strident. If this trait becomes evident in the body of Believers, it will cause careless loss of blessing to the entire body. That’s why I approach this subject today.
John, the apostle wrote a short little letter to Gaius whom, it appears, was a church leader. When the Bible was divided into chapters and verses for ease of study, this little letter, 3 John, turned out to be 14 verses.
Like the first two letters by John, this letter is also a tenderly written letter of encouragement. Three people are mentioned in the letter: Gaius, to whom the letter was addressed, Diotrophes, and Demetrius. Each one holds a place in John’s attention. Diotrophes is a warning to me, the reader. John apparently feels some sadness that Diotrophes did not accept John. Diotrophes “loved to have the preeminence” did not like this gentle fisherman whom Jesus loved and put into the inner circle of disciples with James and Peter. Diotrophes wanted the spotlight.
So, from the very early days of the established churches, there have always been those who “loved the preeminence” and cause strife among the body of believers. There is probably someone like that in your church. Here is the question: Is it you?
Demetrius, on the other hand, was of “good report.” He had a testimony of being a peaceful follower of Jesus. John, in fact, used Demetrius as an example because John further states, “. . . of the truth itself . . . and ye know that our record is true.” Demetrius did not cause strife; he stood unwavering but without vitriol.
When I read this short little passage this morning, I stopped and asked myself, am I a Diotrophes, or a Demetrius?
These times of introspection are essential to keeping ourselves in a place of clarity both with ourselves and God, and also with others. Each relationship is vitally important. John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, wrote it down for our admonition.