3 John 5–11 (ESV)
Support and Opposition
5 Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all
your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, 6 who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the
Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.
9 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.
11 Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.
John is writing to Gaius and is lifting him up and
encouraging him in his ministry. Gaius may be a pastor or a leader over some missionaries and John is giving him praise and support. Pastors and church leaders often have to deal with a lot of negativity and it is always lifting to hear someone
supporting you. I think everyone needs to be lifted up and I think the world we live in today prefers to tear down over lifting up. Unfortunately, there are problems within the church. Satan likes to work in the church. This is the
very issue that John is writing about... his name is Diotrephes. We don’t know exactly what the problem is, whether it is doctrine, pride, power, authority, or just someone who likes to stir up trouble. Sometimes it is someone wanting authority
and power, and sometimes it is the pastor himself. John has to deal with a problem, that Diotrephes is talking wickedly about John, Gaius, and the missionaries. Diotrephes refuses to accept the authority of them and will not even welcome them.
Whatever the problem is, it must be dealt with, or it becomes a cancer. I think we all have to stop now and then and look into the mirror and see if we are imitating good or evil. Do you find yourself lifting up the church, or tearing it down.
There are people that criticize everything, which is destructive to the body of Christ. I know I must look at the mirror and see if I’m behaving like John and Gaius, or like Diotrephes. Perhaps we all need to focus on lifting people up.
It is a healthy and better trait. Verse 11 states “Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.” I pray: “Lord, help me to not become
prideful, arrogant, a criticizer, and imitating evil, but help me to be hospitable, Christ-centered, and imitating good. Help me to stand up and not waiver on my faith or doctrine. Help me to walk and treat others according to your will.
Forgive me Lord when I cross the line and carry out my will. Help me to never take my faith for granted. Amen.