Imitate Love – 3 John 11

imitate with loveThe Christian life ought to be characterized by freedom, not rules and regulations.

Other religions will give you long to-do lists of prayers and practices and menus and pilgrimages, and you have to follow them to be a member in good standing.

Christians basically have one command: to love.

Augustine famously summarized it this way: “Love and do what you will.” If you love someone, do whatever comes naturally. If you are seeking someone’s good, then do it.

What does love look like?

It looks like whatever kind of help your neighbor needs.

Love can be changing a crying baby’s diaper, tutoring a failing student, babysitting for a frazzled mother, donating your vacation to a co-worker whose husband has cancer, teaching an immigrant to speak English, or helping someone fill out job applications.

Love and do what you will.

If you need inspiration on how to love, observe the good people around you. As John said,

Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does goodis of God; the one who does evil has not seen God (3 John 1:11).

John was writing to Gaius and contrasted the behavior of two men in his community. A man named Diotrephes was refusing to show hospitality to John and other believers (vv 9-10). By contrast, a man named Demetrius was setting a good example for all (v 12). John told Gaius to imitate the good behavior of Demetrius.

That’s one way to learn how to love: imitation.

Do you know a genuinely good person? What does he or she do? How does he love the people around him? Pay attention.

Imitation is not only the sincerest form of flattery, but also an effective way to learn to love.

By Shawn Lazar; Grace Evangelical Society, December 4, 2018

(I just happened to really like it – Pastor Scott)


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