3 John – Day 4

Read 3 John 11-12

Imitate Good

John again calls Gaius his dear friend. And he asks his friend to avoid imitating one extreme and embrace another (3 John 11-12). Don’t imitate evil. Imitate good. We don’t know if this is a direct response to Diotrephes’s selfishness, but we can assume that John is speaking generally of evil and good.

All of us struggle with sin. I don’t think John is talking just about sin here. He is talking about the kinds of things that are opposed to God and God’s call on our lives. We can’t follow Jesus and live a life of immorality. It hurts us and becomes a barrier to our relationship with God. It can also be an indication that we are not truly followers of Christ.

The Basics

The ten commandments are not just a list of don’ts. They are a list of how to properly relate to God and others. They are a list of what it means to be human and to treat others as fellow human beings. When we covet and steal we diminish others for our own perceived gain. When we commit adultery, we hurt ourselves and our spouse, not to mention all of the other people on the other side of the adultery. In essence, when we break God’s commands, we embrace what God doesn’t (evil) instead of embracing our full humanity and his call on our lives (good). We weren’t created for sin and selfishness. We were created to be loved by God. We were created to love him and each other. That’s good! We were created to enjoy his goodness as then to reflect it in the way that we live. Thus, John’s admonition, “do not imitate evil but what is good” (verse 11).


  1. 3 JohnWe would rather refer to the things that don’t honor God in our lives as mistakes, slips, or maybe sins. John calls it “imitating evil.” In what ways to you minimize the evil temptations and actions in your life?
  2. What does it look like to imitate what is good? Today? This Week?

Consider writing down a key verse or verses from today on an index card or small piece of paper and carry it with you today. Look at it as often as you can as a reminder of what you learned today.

Possible Verse: 3 John 11