There is a man in the Bible named Diotrephes. He is mentioned only once in the Bible in one of the epistles written by John. It says, “Diotrephes always wanted to be first” (3rd John v.9). The King James Version renders the same verse, "Diotrephes loved to have the preeminence among them.” If God is going to put your name in the Bible for one thing, that would not be a good reason. Diotrephes was really proud and wanted all the attention.
The truth is, some leaders get attention. That’s not wrong. But the sin of Diotrephes was his motive. He wasn't content to serve on the team, he had to be the 'face' of the team. For him, it was all all about being seen.
This same sin still infects the church today. We live in a celebrity-addicted culture (Star Search, Dancing w/the Stars, American Idol, etc) where people get to be famous overnight. If you ever watch TMZ or read People magazine you see all these famous people in there, but they didn’t do anything of significance to be famous. I mean, who is Paris Hilton and what is her claim to fame? Some people are just famous for famous sake, and we are addicted to it. We then bring those same carnal ambitions into the church. The sin of Diotrephes is, “I want to be famous. I want people to notice me, not Jesus.”
Consider this - Jesus chose twelve apostles, but they all didn’t get the same press. They didn’t get the same visibility. In the books of Matthew, Mark Luke, John, and Acts, Peter is mentioned 189 times. John 50. Philip 17. Andrew 13. Thomas 11. Matthew 9. James 7. So forth and so on. Nathaniel, only once.
On any ministry team, some people are going to be more prominent than others. It’s just the way things shake out. Some people are going to get press time, others are not. Be okay with that. Whether you are called to be an upfront person or a behind the scenes person, just be okay with that. Not everybody can play first violin. Some people have to be number two, number three, or number four. Some people don’t even get to be heard. The important thing is that you serve well and be faithful in the role you have been chosen for. Do this and you will finish the race. Whether you are number one, two, three, four, or number ten, do your part, get it done, and make it happen. Do it for the cause of Christ and for the team.
Don’t be like Diotrephes.
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