3Jn 1:9-10 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. (10) So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.
These words by which the Apostle John exposed Diotrephes, reveal two “skill sets” that most every Diotrephes (we will call them RASNs) possess. They are:
- The ability to achieve power and control
- The ability to accuse and thereby make everyone but themselves bear the blame
RASNs not only lust for power and control, they are quite accomplished at obtaining it. Think about this. Why is an abuser able to exercise power and control over, for instance, his/her spouse? How did they get a hold on this power? How was it that your abuser slowly but surely (or perhaps even very quickly) establish this power and control over you? I bet you don’t even remember. Because you didn’t even see it happening at the time.
Creeps, like Diotrephes, creep in with stealth. And before you know it, they have the keys to everything. How does it happen?
I think that part of the answer is related to the second diabolic skill set they possess – blaming, guilting, accusing, threatening. They are confident that they are never to blame and before you know it, you believe they are never to blame – YOU are!
RASNs are very skilled at offering tantalizing “bait” to their target – bait with a hook in it. That bait might be their reputation in the community, their skill at their career, their apparent “care” for others, etc. And once people take the bait, you guessed it, Diotrephes is running the show.
This wickedness has happened to me as well. More than once. You find yourself years down the road realizing that something sinister has happened. That you aren’t even yourself anymore. That Diotrephes has become your “go to” person. There is another name for this dynamic – it’s called “enslavement.”