Loving the Preeminence represses the rest

Loving the Preeminence represses the rest explains how a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” can be seen by his desire to be preeminent among the brethren. This is especially seen in how they always want to “steal” the lime light from the other ministers.

1John 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

There are persons among a church at times that are go getters. People who are highly motivated to do activities. These are in stark contrast to the majority in the church who simply aren’t very active. The church leadership has to push, pull, brow-beat the majority to do even the minimum. These people are a breathe of fresh air to the church leadership.

But upon closer examination these people fall into the category of loving to have the preeminence. They see the vacuum of the church family in having active workers, and they step in. It is not that they are any better in any way, just simply nobody has initiative really.

Everybody should edify the rest

God has so structured his children and how they grow spiritually that He has included two important factors that we need to recognize and respect. 1) We all need to minister to others by edifying. 2) We need to be ministered to by others in the body of Christ.

Seizing the Lime Light

What these people do is that they want the attention of the group. They want the “lime light”, that place in front talking to the church. Moreover they want absolute control to direct and guide the group’s thinking on everything. What they opine is what everybody should be focusing on. A false prophet wants to control the thinking of others. When they accomplish that, then they can control the decisions and most importantly, they control the spending of the group (eventually), and also the energies of the group.

There is nothing wrong that one or the other brethren takes the speaking of the group and preaches or teaches or in some way expresses their ideas (as long as they are biblical). But the problem comes in when the desire the preeminence. In doing so they take the opportunity away from others and their ideas.

Christian Deference

Another issue is that of personal humility and Christian deference. “Deference” or the deferring of something to the preferences of another is a character trait of Christianity. There are limits, and the limits are set at you cannot give up how the Bible says something should be in order to give some other person the opportunity to impose his ideas. We must discern between what God has commanded and not turn from that, but persistently hold to it.

But in general, we must allow others in the church to express themselves and their ideas. We must not trample over them by taking the control of ideas and actions ourselves all the time.

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
1John 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

What we see in this verse is that the person who wants to be the center of attention is doing damage to the other brethren. He does not “receive the brethren”.