3 John 5–15 (ESV)
Support and Opposition
5 Beloved, it is a
faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, 6 who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they have gone out for the sake of the name,
accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.
9 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to
put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 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.
11 Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the
truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.
13 I had much to write to you, but I would rather not
write with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.
15 Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, each by name.
This letter is addressing a problem that happens in a lot of churches. There is a leader name Diotrephes, who puts himself first. We do not know if he was a pastor or a layman, but John must address him and his ego. Churches often
succumb to power struggles which should not happen, but it does. A church leader who puts himself first is not working for God, but against God. If you are going to put anyone first, it should be God. Second, you should put other’s
needs before yours. Then comes the leader. If you are a leader in the church, be careful how you use your authority and influence. If you get upset because the others want to do it their way, remember it is their church too. If you
are getting upset, you must ask your self, 1) is the choice scriptural, and 2) is the decision using God’s resources is a Christian and Godly way. If what they are wanting is not Scriptural or Christian, then one must stand firm. But if you
are standing firm simply because you wanted to do it your way, then you need to look into the mirror and reexamine your motives. As a pastor, I know that things will not always go my way. I pick and choose what is worth fighting for and when is
it best to back down. It’s not always an easy call.
I pray: O Lord, help me to lead in a Godly way, not my way. Help me to put other’s needs before my needs. Help me to
be a servant, and to serve in love. Amen.