Imitate good


3 John 11 (ESV): 11 Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.


John wrote a letter of gratitude and encouragement to a faithful man named Gaius, who was helping itinerant preachers or traveling Christians as they passed through his area.

John had written a letter to Gaius’ local church, but Diotrephes, who liked to be first, would not recognize the apostle’s authority. Diotrephes also refused to welcome those Christians who were traveling through, and even sought to put out of the church those who did help people in need.

John encouraged Gaius not to imitate evil, but to imitate good.


It could have been tempting, in order to get along with this strong church boss, not to help people in need, to give various excuses why one did not need get involved. Instead, one could have sought the good graces of Diotrephes who was “in charge” so that all would go well.

But Gaius had determined to do what was right. So John challenged him to continue doing so.

It does not matter who is in power or has the most influence, in government, at work, school, or in our local church. We must imitate those who do good, not those who do evil.


Heavenly Father, help me always to imitate those who do good, and be worthy of imitation by those who seek to do what is right. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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