Are You Like Diotrephes
That is to say, are you a controller? Sometimes I am. Do you want to control the people in your life or do you want Jesus to control them? If you are to have any proper control over anyone else, you yourself MUST first be in the control of the Lord Jesus. If and when we are out of the control of the Lord Jesus, we should NOT be in control of others. If we are willing to be in the control of the Lord Jesus, He will provide spiritual leaders for all of us to follow. Sometimes His leadership of Christians will be direct and sometimes He will provide it through other Christians. There are God-given leaders that Christians ought to give preeminence to.
3 John 1:9: I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
Colossians 1:18: And he (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Hebrews 13:17: Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Even God the Son was subject unto Joseph and Mary.
Luke 2:51: And he (Jesus) went down with them, (Joseph and Mary) and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
Colossians 3:20: Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
1 Corinthians 11:3: But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
1 Peter 2:13-20: Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord*s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
And, of course, we should never give preeminence to evil. Here are some ways we go wrong. We start out as children who do not give preeminence to our parents, we become husbands that do not give preeminence to their wives* needs and wives who do not give preeminence to their husbands.
Ephesians 5:25: Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Husbands are to give themselves for their wives and wives are to give themselves for their husbands.
1 Timothy 2:12a, c: But I suffer not a woman to . . . usurp authority over the man, . . .
Neither should a man usurp authority over the woman. We do not give preeminence to proper spiritual or government leaders and worst of all, we do not give preeminence to Jesus Himself. When we give preeminence to Him, He will put it in our hearts to give proper preeminence to others.
There are many unbelievers who will not receive Jesus because they do not want to give Him the preeminence. There are also many believers who do not become part of churches because they do not want to give preeminence to God-given spiritual leaders. I know some who aspired to spiritual leadership who did not give preeminence to Jesus. I have seen Him remove some of them from leadership positions.
Philippians 2:3: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.