Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.
13 I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.
15 Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, each by name. – 3 John 11-15
One of the assignments of our photo club in the coming month is to imitate the work of impressionists. We are to take a photo and work with various software tools to make it look like some sort of impressionistic artist. I look forward to that assignment. It will require some intentional work on my part to produce such an image. The photo above is an example of one such attempt on my part.
In the case of John and the people of Gaius’ church there is a call to intentional imitation of good, not of evil. They should make a choice not to follow the evil ways of Demetrius – with his strong-arm tactics, arrogant pride, and judgmental spirit. They should seek to imitate the good of Gaius as testified by John.
The essence of goodness they were to imitate is centered in the One who is the way, the truth and the life: Jesus Christ himself. He is truly good. Truly Good.
Jesus is true, never wavering from that which really is, or abandoning the path of life which is laid out in God’s word. He is also good, supremely committed to the welfare of others and desiring only that which is in alignment with the goodness of God and God’s will.
We may be tempted to imitate the strong, successful, slick, or powerful, and hope to attain the degree of success or prestige they achieve in the eyes of the world. That may or may not be good. Only those who seek to imitate Jesus in his demeanor, faithfulness, love, and kindness, are being true to John’s call.
To those who seek to follow in that way John’s wish is a blessing of peace and the blessing of fellowship of other followers of Jesus.