Gaius and Diotrephes

3 John is even shorter in length than 2 John. The letter to a man named Gaius starts out with a wonderful commendation to Gaius and it revolves around the word “truth”. Please read what John wries about Gaius: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. One of the greatest compliments I suppose that any of us could receive is that the truth is in us and that we walk in truth. I like the phrase “walk in truth”. It means to live in truth. What exactly does that mean? I’m not sure. I wonder if it means that Gaius’ mind was filled with truth, which led him to actions that were governed by truth. Was Gaius a person who was so confident in his truth that he didn’t need to live in deception in any way…rather, he just lived in truth…take it or leave it. I don’t mean to say that he was proud of it or a braggart in any way; just a sincere, “this is who I am” kind of truth.

Gaius is contrasted with a man named Diotrephes. Diotrephes is a man who loved the have the preeminence among people. He sounds like the guy who wants the best seat at the dinner party and who wants to be the star of the show. He also does not “receive the brethren” and forbids those who wish to; even to the point of putting them out of the church. I wonder if Diotrephes’ actions are motivated by a lack of truth. I think that a lack of truth often leads to false bravado…a sort of “bluffing” your way through a situation; hoping to win or sway opinion through intimidation. I would hope that you would not want to be like Diotrephes.

These two men are examples of real people whose real lives were impacted by the truth of God’s word…one receives accolade and the other condemnation. I suppose that God’s truth does that to us all. Let’s look to Gaius as an example, not Diotrephes. Does truth inform your life? Are you willing to live in the truth and let the chips fall where they may?


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