The book of Third John tells us of a man named Diotrephes. From his poor example, we can examine some positive leadership characteristics we should have present in our lives if we desire to have a Christ-like influence.
First of all, a godly teacher is a servant. We see in Third John chapter nine that Diotrephes desired to have the preeminence. A good servant knows his place and is not concerned about receiving recognition.
Second, a godly teacher is teachable. We are told in Third John chapter nine that Diotrephes did not receive John’s writing. I read about a child who came home from school after his first day at kindergarten. His mother asked, "What did you learn today?" The child replied, "Not enough. I have to go back tomorrow." Do you have the attitude that you already know it all, or do you have a spirit of receiving correction? The truth is that if a teacher does not have a teachable spirit, it can sometimes be absent in the life of his students.
Third, a godly teacher is just. A father is commanded in the Bible not to provoke his child to wrath. This is a good command to follow for every adult who works with children. Diotrephes was a man who unjustly used malicious words against the church leaders. The tongue is often the enemy of justice. Do you speak too quickly? Do you allow your feelings to determine your actions? Let justice control your actions.
Fourth, a godly teacher is content. The great enemy of contentment is comparison. Second Corinthians 10:12 warns us, “But they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” Simply stated, Diotrephes was malcontent. As a result, he was a detriment to the work of the Lord.
Last, a godly teacher is hospitable. To be hospitable requires a humble spirit and a servant’s spirit. Perhaps that is why Diotrephes was not hospitable. We read in Third John ten, “Neither doth he himself receive the brethren.” Could it be that he thought too highly of himself? Do not be so busy meeting your own needs that you miss the opportunity to serve others. Joseph in the Old Testament had a wonderful spirit of serving. Even Pharaoh saw a different spirit in this young leader. Genesis 41:38, “And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?”
How is your influence? Is it expanding? Is it what the Lord wants it to be? Let’s take inventory of our leadership characteristics and determine if we need to stock up on some godly, leadership characteristics before the school year begins. Remember, if we keep a vision of what God wants our students to be, we will understand better why we should develop these characteristics in our lives.
Excerpt from an article by Ray Cazis. Used with permission by Ministry127.com