Does character count? How do we evaluate?
3 John A Tale of Three Men and the Lessons for Us.
The Apostle John wrote a snail mail letter to the church. He had no hesitation of having it read publicly; in fact—he published it on the open market! So what did he say and why should we read it too?
This is a tale of three men with different character qualities. Two are good, we might even say great, but then there is that one that is ugly to the core. If written today, we might call him a “stinker.”
Two men, Gaius and Demetrius were truth seekers. The church testified that they loved Christ. The Apostle John called Gaius both brother and friend, which show us their close relationship. In addition, Gaius was esteemed because he was also hospitable to the itinerant preachers as they came to town seeking food and provisions. He opened his pocketbook more than once, it seems, so John encouraged him to keep supporting these traveling preachers.
John adds that he rejoiced because others testified to both men’s faithfulness.
Now, as to Diotrephes, the no-good church member, the one we might call a “stinker.” It seems he had a problem with pride. John wrote, “he loves to be first among them.” If others didn’t shower praise upon him, he just wrote them off his list. If that didn’t get their attention, he ushered them out the back door much like the Pharisees did to the early apostles. Both Diotrephes and the Pharisees had a problem of envy or being jealous. Beloved, jealousy happens when we fear others getting the attention we feel is justly ours. Can you resonate? Sometimes that sin enters our life as well so we need to be on guard. Remember, even Pilate saw through the cracks of the Pharisees and John saw through Dioterphes’ cracks as well.
So what is our “take away” from what John wrote?
Be grateful for the faithful. Be discerning and lovingly rebuke those who have a character flaw.
But in the end, remind yourself of this truth:
“the one who does good is of God; the one who does what is bad has not seen God.”
So does character count? I guess we could say it does. If John were to write about you, what would he say?