Head honcho, leader, trailblazer, main guy, the big kahuna, pioneer…these are some of the terms we use for the people who have leadership in our lives. Just for fun, if they’re friends, sometimes I’ll describe them in some funny, more casual ways. Hopefully, I do it respectfully. I’m grateful for the many ways these people pour into my life. They collectively carry a sense of rank and position. Most of the time they receive well-earned respect.
But sometimes leadership and authority are abused. You’ve experienced that haven’t you? How do I identify leaders like that? The Apostle John called out someone in 3 John 9. I’ve found his words to be helpful for identification purposes. “ I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us.”
I have no idea who Diotrephes was in John’s life, but for all of history, John described him as one who “loves to be first.” I’ll bet that brings someone to mind…from your past or present. Loving to be first in your leadership is not inspiring nor does it motivate to be better. If you’re struggling with someone in your circle or you might be leaning into the “Diotrephes Syndrome,” take a look at a favorite website of mine, www.iamsecond.com. Their goal is to “seek a world where people become second, serving and loving each other as they put Jesus first.” Not a bad way to be identified by others.