The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Have you ever been to a pro-sports game and seen “that guy”? You know the one I am talking about, the one who looks like he lives on the premises and comes out from under the stadium seats when the game starts. If he is wearing a shirt, it is the home team’s jersey from 20 seasons ago and its faded glory is encrusted with the remnants of all the hotdogs he’s eaten since then. He has the foam finger, the sunglasses, the hat with more home team logo pins on it than you can safely count, a giant megaphone, and a neck draped with beads of the same color as the home team. Every time loudspeakers play the get-hyped-up music, he gets hyped up, a little too hyped up. You went to just watch a game, but he exists for the game.
What absolutely thrills him, is what he surrounds himself with. Sadly, he gets excited about something that doesn’t matter. Everyone who sees him, almost feels a bit of sympathy because they know that his whole world is focused on something that he isn’t even a part of. Dancing in the stands to 90s rock music is not the same as donning a jersey (from this season) and heading out to play. He watches the team and is excited for them, but he is not part of the team.
When John starts the epistle of 3 John, he begins by telling his friends that he is ecstatic about the amount of growth that has taken place in their lives. He seems like a number one fan for them in these first four verses, but if you understand what is going on, you will see that he is more than a fan. You see, John isn’t cheering about stats or about scores. He is thrilled by something far greater, by something that actually matters. His joy is fixed in this- that the ones he trained are walking in the truth. To John there is nothing more thrilling than the fact that the believers he had seen converted and had personally trained were continuing in the faith. John isn’t just a fan; he has served as training coach and now as teammate. His joy runs deep as his friends and fellow Christians continue to grow in the truth of Christ.
We should have the same excitement for those around us. Instead of being distracted by lesser things, we should be absolutely thrilled that our brothers and sisters are growing in truth.
Food For Thought: What do you get excited about? Name the last time that you were thrilled by the spiritual growth and maturity of those around you?