“Have a good journey.”

The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. – 3 John 1-4

Dragonfly | Mercer Botanical Gardens | June 2018

Perhaps you’ve said, “Have a good day,” to people as a general expression of well wishes. John’s message to Gaius is more than a good wish. His words express a deeper desire than a kind word that may be sincere, but lacks substance or context. In this case John prays for a wholistic wellness: that all may go well, that he may experience good health, and spiritual wellness. This would be like offering to pray for someone to experience that which is called in Hebrew, “shalom”, peace.

God desires “our best and plans only good for us” (Enduring Word Commentary). That may mean material wealth, physical health, emotional balance, and spiritual wellbeing. It may also be, however, that in his wisdom and goodness he uses lack of these things for our greater good and deeper blessing. It is also sadly true that some lack these things because they do not seek God or live wise and sensible lives.

John’s ability here to express unconditionally his prayer for Gaius’ health, wealth, and spiritual wholeness, is based on Gaius’ commitment to the Truth of God. He knows Gaius does not need to be taken down a notch or two because of a failure to hold to the truth. He knew that Gaius was not living foolishly. His wish, therefore, could be wholehearted and unqualified.

Love of the truth, commitment to the truth, living in truth amounts to abiding in Jesus who is truth embodied. It means letting the Spirit of Truth hold sway in our hearts and minds. It makes the grace of God more precious, and our world more sure.

When we are grounded in the Truth we can embrace wishes for good health, spiritual wholeness and prosperity with a pure heart and clear conscience. It allows us to have a truly good journey through life.

1 comment
  1. These are very good words for me today, especially paragraph two where God’s best may be in fullness or some lack. (Hoping I’ve understood this correctly).

    I also loved the notion that John knew Gaius well enough to give him that generous blessing as you indicated; wholeheartedly and unqualified as seen through the lens of God’s truth.

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