Archive for November 2nd, 2009

Imitate What is Good

3 John


There are a lot of things working on us to keep us from being faithful, or if nothing else, to steal our joy when we are.  At night in my leisure, I might have a thought of reading a certain book.  As soon as I have the thought, I think of other books I have that I could read.  Then I think instead of reading I could be writing.  Sometimes I get bogged down trying to decide and end up doing nothing.


In light of all the competing voices we hear, I like the voice of John here.  He cuts through it all and simply says, “do not imitate what is evil, but what is good”.  Gaius had found a way to be helpful and was faithful at it.  Diotrephes had found a way to hinder and was faithful at it.  The bottom line here is that we imitate what is good.  If we’re doing that, we should leave ourselves alone – pat ourselves on the back a little.


In case that last line caused you to stiffen up a little, consider that this entire letter was not too much more than John’s attempt to pat Gaius on the back.  We all need encouragement.  It helps us fight through all the competing and discouraging thoughts that are working against us.  I think we could learn from John here the importance of encouraging others when we have the opportunity.  And until we receive such encouragement, as long as we are imitating what is good, a little pat on our own backs is better than beating ourselves up.

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