Loving God. Loving our neighbor.

A Disciple Or A Diotrephes?

Scotty Smith

I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. 3 John 9-10

Lord Jesus, how humbling—to be chronicled in the Bible by name, as someone “who loves to be first.” I don’t know the circumstances, but Diotrephes’ story certainly invites me to look at mine. Jesus, please convict me and free me from the ways I also love to be first.

In my church family—when I take more than I give; when I’m more likely to complain about the music than serve the members; or when I criticize the sermons more than I pray for my pastor.

In the general population—when I’m more obsessed with my “to-do-list” than my “to-love-list.”

In my vocation—when fellow workers experience me more preoccupied with my success, than dedicated to caring and serving as a member of a team.

In my marriage—when I’m more aware of the things that annoy and disappoint me, than I’m committed to encouraging and serving, listening and loving my spouse.

In my friendships—when my “need” to be included and appreciated, is more pronounced than my commitment to stay in touch, pray for, and care for my friends.

Lord Jesus, have mercy on me. You didn’t consider your equality with God something to be held onto for personal gain. You’ve never loved to be first. Rather, you emptied yourself as the quintessential Servant—serving us by your life, death, and resurrection (Phil. 2:1-11). Now, you ever live to serve us as our Advocate, Intercessor, and Bridegroom.

Your unimaginable humility, unparalleled servanthood, and immeasurable love convict me to the core. Restore my first love for you, Jesus that my “me-first-ness” will decrease until the Day it gives way to perfect Christ-like-ness. So very Amen I pray, in your merciful and matchless name.