Today’s verse speaks about imposters who take advantage of people. This warning we read in 2 Corinthians 11:20 is clear. There are people who claim to be Christians but who are not living as Christ intended. They take advantage. They live for the spotlight. They like to be in charge. As they try to live above you as if they are better than you, they proof themselves to be imposters by their actions.
The verse warns: “You actually allow these imposters to put you into bondage, take complete advantage of you, and rob you blind! How easily you endure those who, in their arrogance, destroy your dignity or even slap you in the face” (2 Corinthians 11:20 TPT). It is important that we watch out for the imposters. How can we spot them?
These imposters are not serving Jesus, but they are self serving. In 1 Peter 5:2, we read of how the Christian leaders should be caring for God’s flock and eager to serve, not in it for dishonest gain. These imposters are not usually found signing up to help, but like to find the best seat at the table. These imposters are not aiming to care for God’s flock, but rather, they like to see what they can get from the people.
These imposters are into big shows. In Matthew 23:14, we read about the scribes and Pharisees who love to pray long prayers and yet devour widows’ houses. They would pray such lengthy prayers, others would feel inadequate. These imposters want to stand in the front so everyone can see them. They love their titles. These imposters want to make sure you know what they have given and how they have served. Just as they made sure the sounds of the tithe were loud in the Temple, today they boast about their generosity on social media. As they let everyone know the good deeds they completed, they forget to share what was neglected and the damage they have caused. They would try to get widows to give up their entire estate, and the same is still true today. They engage in handing out a lot of guilt trips to others to get them to volunteer, but neglect to even consider the person and his or her needs. Again, it’s always about trying to see what they can get from people instead of how they can love and serve God’s sons and daughters.
In 3 John 1:9, we read about Diotrephes. This person loved to be a leader. Why? Because he liked to be first. He didn’t even acknowledge the authority of others in leadership. He did not want anything to do with others in leadership and he committed slander against the other leaders. He was not welcoming others to church either. For a person who loved to be a leader, he seemed like he really wanted complete control of everything rather than to lead others to know and seek Jesus. Why? He was all about position and power. The authority was what mattered most. He did what he could to keep other leaders away so no one could challenge his authority. He spoke badly about the other leaders to discredit them so people would follow him blindly and he could continue to control.
The question today is are you being face slapped and enslaved? Do the leaders in your life aim to build you up? Do they do everything with love? Are they investing in your life? Do they seek out the very best for you? Do they pour out grace with truth or are you constantly shamed for your shortcomings? I am not trying to separate you from your leaders, nor am I suggesting that your leaders are these imposters. Rather, I encourage you to heed this warning as you go through your days. The Bible warns us often of imposters. You will know them by their fruit my friend. So take heed and stay alert. I pray that you surround yourself by life speaking, truth sharing, grace pouring, love spreading leaders who help you to grow into all that God has for you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!