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Seeking Promotion

Public Domain (with exceptions)1

“…Diotrephes… loveth to have the preeminence…”

3 John 9 kjv

The race of Diotrephes is unfortunately not extinct. What a strife there is among men for these “chief rooms” of this world! How men wrangle, and debate, and bribe, and sell their manhood for some seat in the legislature, or a petty office in a county seat! And what of this selling of what is honorable and good, to get into what is considered by the world’s people as “first class society,” or to be a leader of fashion, or of our club, or society. How comes this infatuation to be boss, leader, ruler, dictator, and have chief seats and first places? How comes this strange thirst to be richer than our neighbor, better dressed, able to put on style, belong to a “set” in society where only a few can go? This mad self-preference which can be content to see thousands suffer while we founder at a millionaire table? Oh, what is this abnormal possession of humanity which can be content to live on the sufferings and tears of another part of humanity?

There is an assumption of superiority in this rush for the upper seat in the world which betokens a self assumed, presumptuous idea of fitness for the place. This of itself betokens a certain measure of unfitness. The one most worthy of the place is called to it. He does not put himself in it. The place calls for him. It is not his rush for it. Moses, David, Gladstone, Lincoln, were demanded for these high callings. On the part of none of them was there insane seeking, wire-pulling and intrigue to get into office. To be worthy of a place is a first qualification. To have the place call you is a second.2



  1. The text itself is public domain. It was transcribed by Jim Kerwin, biographer of Isaiah Reid, and co-edited and emended with Denise Kerwin. Annotations and emendations are copyright © YEAR by Jim Kerwin along with his other contributions to the online, print, and e-book versions of Isaiah Reid’s works.
  2. Editor’s Note: This reflection appeared as a quote in the book Traits of Character Illustrated in Bible Light by H. F. & E. L. Kletzing (Boston: Home Libary Company, 1899, pages 96-97).
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