Effects of our Faithfulness
“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.”
– 3 John 9-12
Churches, during this time the book of Third John was written, were to not only just reach people with the Gospel of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, but also to be a haven or sanctuary for missionaries who were expanding and starting new churches. This was a very vital role within the local church because like John says earlier in the book, “Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church.”
The church, in Third John, was still fulfilling God’s mission but had some major issues within its leadership. We see that John addresses this letter to a man named Gaius who was walking in truth and was being a faithful leader by welcoming the tired missionaries who needed shelter, even though he did not know them. However, Diotrephes, the leader of this church, desired to be first. He did not honor John’s leadership and refused to allow missionaries to be welcomed to the church.
We see the actions of these two men and their actions are a result of either walking in the light or darkness. First John states that those who do not love the brothers and sisters in Christ walk in darkness and that darkness has blinded their eyes. When you analyze these two men, you see the effect they have on the people around them.
Gaius is walking in the light and truth while being faithful to Christ. His faithfulness is impacting people in a powerful way for Christ. God’s kingdom is being advanced and people are being pointed to Christ. Whereas Diotrephes ignores John’s wishes and falsely slanders him. Diotrephes allows his ambition and selfish desire to be in control. Diotrephes shuts out missionaries seeking refuge from their travels and removes people from the church who don’t agree with him.
It’s very clear in this book that our faithfulness doesn’t just affect us, but others around us. And our sin doesn’t just affect us, but again, those around us are affected. We don’t often think about how our decisions affect others. When we are faithful in our relationship with Christ, it encourages, builds up, and points others to Christ as well and is the design God has for us to advance his kingdom. But just like our faithfulness, our sins do not just hurt us or negatively affect us but hurts others as well. We must always be aware of others in our life when we make decisions and follow after Christ because people are watching and impacted by both.
Pray and ask God to continue to use you in a powerful way for His glory and kingdom. Next, pray that God will help you make wise decisions that don’t negatively affect others around you. Finally, pray that God will forgive you of any unrepented sin in your life and the awareness it has on others.
First Baptist Broken Arrow