Finding the middle road
3John : Model the good.
Second John is written to a congregation and one of the primary themes there is a warning concerning false teachers who take advantage of well-meaning Christians. Third John is written to an individual named Gaius and one of the primary themes concerns this otherwise unknown believer’s good heart and hospitality to traveling Christian teachers. One letter then provides balance to the other. Christians aren’t to be gullible and stupid as we live in a world that has more than its share of wicked, predatory people. At the same time we aren’t to be so afraid or so calloused that we lose sight of what it means to be people of God who model our lives after one who “went about doing good.” Apparently that’s what’s happened to one man who’s mentioned by John in this letter. Diotrephes, who “loves being in charge” learned the don’t-be-gullible lesson so well that he forgot the practice-hospitality lesson. In Gaius, then, we meet a man who’s found the middle way and his hospitality to God’s people prompts the writing of this short letter. One of the challenges of the Christian life is avoiding the extremes mentioned in this letter and finding the balance where we “model the good.”
Take Away: Christians have to find the balance between being easy targets of those who take unfair advantage of others and, at the same time, being caring, compassionate people.