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.
3 JOHN 11-12 ESV
3 John is a letter addressed to Gaius. In verse 11, John encouraged Gaius to “do not imitate evil but imitate good.” And in this letter, John offered two examples of good and one example of evil.
John first praised Gaius for his walk in the truth and his humble and faithful hospitality to the traveling Christians. On the contrary, John rebuked Diotrephes for his pride, denial of the apostles’ authority, refusal to welcome the brothers, and forbiddance to those who want to offer hospitality. Here in verse 12, John introduced another brother, Demetrius. Demetrius is someone who has good testimonies from all. And he is so faithful to the truth that even the truth was a witness on his behalf! Gaius and Demetrius set an excellent example for fellow workers for the truth, and many, including John, can testify. Diotrephes, on the other hand, was a bad example.
We know whom we want to choose regarding role models and influencers. We want to be around people who are good. After all, who does not want to hang out with someone wise, faithful, loving, caring, gentle, patient, and kind? Who does not want to be surrounded by Christ-like people? But while you look up to someone, someone else also looks up to you. So, what kind of example am I setting for others? Whether we like to be seen as role models or not, we ARE being seen and influencing someone one way or the other. As parents, our children would learn from us and pick up our habits intentionally or unintentionally. Younger siblings will imitate the older ones. Younger brothers and sisters in the church also look up to the older ones and follow in their footsteps. Not all of us are KOLs, but we are influencers anyhow.
Let’s be a good example and make some good influences today.