Me First

by | May 7, 2016 | Example, Selfishness, Witnessing

3 John 1: 9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.

One of my biggest faults occurs when I come across Christians who believe that they are entitled to courtesy, esteem, and service just because they are Christians. I see this in restaurants on Sunday afternoons where church members absolutely roast their waiters. I’ve come across it on the road with inconsiderate and nasty drivers whose cars are festooned with Christian symbols and bumper stickers. And I’ve read about it in the papers or seen it on the news when another church group protests that their religious rights are being trampled upon.

These “Me First” Christians embarrass and enrage me at the same time. They also make me wonder what would have happened to our faith in its early years if that type of mentality triumphed. I doubt very much if Christianity would have survived at all.

From today’s New testament passage, it seems as though the Apostle John was dealing with something similar. Diotrephes wanted his own way and tried to steer his local church into shunning John the Evangelist. Thankfully John calls it like it is and in his letter he clearly states that Diotrephes is a malicious gossip and a self-centered person. If the church was going to survive, then people like Diotrephes had to be singled out by the real church leaders and put in their place.

Perhaps this message is really not about other people, but is actually about ourselves. If we could see how we treat other people at times, watch how we drive, and note how many times we feel entitled and offended, we would be abhorred at our own behavior. Perhaps then we get upset with other Christians simply because we see them doing what we already know to be true about ourselves.

Hmmm. I think I need to think this out again.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, there are none of us who are perfect Christians because that would make us sinless, which is a divine quality that only You can claim. When we see our Christian brothers and sisters damage their witness through poor, inconsiderate and self-centered behavior, remind us of our own failings and faults. Grant all of us Your grace and help us to begin again. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart traqair@aol.com
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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