Selfies or Selfless
Face Time, Part 2
Everyone is put off by self-focused and self-absorbed behavior, but that is hard to recognize in ourselves, harder still to acknowledge it, and hardest of all to die to it. So how can we can get honest about our own selfishness and instead love as God loves?
Evaluate your personal concerns 3 John 1–4 (ESV)
1 The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.
2 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. 3 For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Buddy up 3 John 5–8 (ESV)
5 Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, 6 who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles.8 Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.
Develop thicker skin 3 John 9–10 (ESV)
9 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.
Choose models carefully 3 John 11–15 (ESV)
11 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.
Questions for reflection and conversation:
- What evidence do you see that John has concern for all of Gaius life and not only “spiritual issues”?
- What does John mean by "your truth"?
- How would you describe your "world view”? What is a biblical worldview? What is a secular worldview?
- List some joy producing events, like for instance the birth of a first grandson. Contrast that with John’s statement: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." Keep in mind he is not just talking about those in our family who take our name. He is talking about people whom he has invested in. Evaluate and discuss what brings you joy and why.
- What is the manner worthy of God in which we are to support other ministries not directly coming from this church?
- Since love is more action than feeling, what sort of actions display genuine love?
- What is God calling us to do in terms of our support of other ministries around the world? There
- What does it mean to go out for the sake of the name?
- How does the incident in this text compare to our efforts at missions?
- Under what circumstances should someone be publicly confronted for “putting themselves first” as John says he will do in v. 10?
- Read verse 11. Do you agree or disagree that everyone is an imitator? Who have some of your models been?
- Why would John ask Gaius to greet friends by name? What steps can you take to be more personal?