John’s Third Epistle
3 Jno. 9-12
Imitate What Is Good
I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 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. Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.
–3 Jno. 9-12
You may have heard people say about various local churches, “there is this one brother…”
That’s often about a stubborn man, a controlling man, an angry impulsive reactor when something goes against him. That was Diotrephes. A church boss, who did not acknowledge the authority of the apostles. John promised to deal with that when he came. (This is a position of zero tolerance for trouble-makers.)
A refreshing follow-up comes with the mention of Demetrius, who received a good testimony from good people and from the truth itself.
The lesson for all readers is: “Beloved, do not imitate evil, but imitate good.”