Avoid Positive Influences
Diotrephes refused to 'welcome the brothers'. He didn't know them. They were new to him. He was anti-new, anti-change. Some people are like that. I get it. Frankly, though I have a high tolerance for change, there is a lot of change I don't particularly like. But I've learned to roll with the punches, because change is a part of life. Still, if I had my way, we would find the perfect sweet spot of life and just live there all the time.
Diotrephes didn't just resist change and new ideas and new people, he also resisted everyone inside his church who did. In other words, there were others in the church who did welcome newcomers and their ideas. Seeing that as a threat to his leadership, Diotrephes took some kind of action that prevented people in his church from welcoming 'the brothers'. In other words, Diotrephes resisted the positive influences around him.
Do you ever get grumpy? I do. When I feel good and things are going well, I tend to tell everyone around me. And when I am down, I let everyone know that, too. What's odd to me is that I have a tendency to 'want' to stay down when I'm down. Maybe I realize how much energy it takes to get out of a funk. I don't know. But when I'm grumpy, the last person in the world I want near me is a 'the sun will come out tomorrow' 'somewhere over the rainbow' positive-thinker. Just let me wallow in my misery.
I think Diotrephes was like that. There were people in his church who loved him, cared about him, wanted to help him see things differently...see the world differently. But like Ebenezer Scrooge, he didn't want these positive influences around him.
Think about the people you have surrounded yourself with. Are they positive influences? Do they bring you up or drag you down? When you are with them, do you find that you feel better about yourself, or do you have to go home and recover after a visit?
Don't be like Diotrephes. Choose good influences.