Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Who You Looking At?

“Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God” (3 John 1:11).

When Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett both passed away the world had lost important icons. The world looked up to these two individuals for their success in the entertainm...ent business, and for good reason, as they were very successful. They saw in them great examples of how to be successful in the “material world.” But as God’s children, should we be so quick to follow examples like these?

When John wrote the passage in 3 John, there were some struggles going on in church leadership. John was writing to an individual by the common name of Gaius. From what John spoke of this man we can conclude that he was a very dedicated man to his walk with the Lord. John called him “beloved” that shows this man worthy of being loved. He was prosperous in his faith and he was dedicated to the truth that God sent to set us free. He was hospitable to those who were working in the Lord’s kingdom and the church recognized his efforts as being faithful to the Light. This was obviously a man to follow.

But John also mentions another name, Diotrephes, a man who is totally opposite of the character of Gaius. Notice the differences in this man and the quality of character God is trying to produce in His children. Diotrephes was a man that sought prominence. He obviously didn’t like second place. He had a nature that strove to be liked by his peers no matter what expense it was to his spiritual condition. Gaius was, by dying to himself, a servant of those around him, whereas Diotrephes felt he needed to be served. Jesus reminds us which one we are to follow: “But the greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11). Servants are true disciples and worthy of our following.

Another character flaw in Diotrephes that was opposite of Gaius was his lack of love for truth. Gaius walked in truth (v.2) whereas Diotrephes wouldn’t accept the truth (v.9). Gaius died to his fleshly desires and let the word of God guide his thoughts and words. Diotrephes didn’t allow truth to mold him from the inside, which caused an ungodly man to emerge on the outside. As John expressed, a godly life is manifested in love for truth.

Unfortunately today there are still men of the spirit of Diotrephes. There are men that are too proud to let truth change their way of thinking. There are men that are easy to recognize as terrible leaders because they are not humble enough to change even when truth eradicates erroneous ways in them (James 1:22-24). There are men that think that their way is the only way and they allow this ungodly spirit to rule in their lives. This will cause them to be lacking in their hospitality as it did Diotrephes. But church members have a way to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1). We have God’s word to show us such men as Gaius and Diotrephes. And although the world may long to follow such men as the likes of Diotrephes, members of the Lord’s church must make sure that the leaders we follow are being guided by the humble spirit of our Lord.

In His Love,

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