In this final book in our ONE-chapter mini-series, David opened with two questions:
- Is it well with your soul?
- If your physical health reflected your spiritual health, what kind of shape would you be in physically?
John writes to his dear friend Gaius, whom he knows is progressing well spiritually, but his prayer is that Gaius will be as healthy physically as he is spiritually.
John underscores the consistency between what Gaius believed and how he behaved: no gap between his word and his action, living out this gospel integrity in everyday situations – all was well with this man’s soul.
As I reflected on John’s prayer for wanting Gaius’ physical health to match his spiritual progress, it struck me that perhaps our primary concern when speaking to or praying for Christian brothers and sisters ought to be for their spiritual integrity.
At any point in the week, will people see your spiritual integrity if they meet you?
Love One Another
Gaius’ reputation was reflected in his love for others, expressed in the practice of hospitality. He opened his heart and his home to other believers, a further reflection that all was well with this man’s soul.
The practice of hospitality is a key ingredient in expressing our love for others: in the church, in the community, towards gospel workers. This is within the gift of most of us, so that we can also say with a degree of confidence, ‘It is well with my soul.’
Diotrephes caries the deadly sin of pride, is self-serving and loves to be first. Unlike Gaius, he dismisses John’s authority, preferring to spread malicious gossip in the church and refuses to show hospitality to other believers who disagree with him, or worse still, put them out of the church. Here is a man who lacks integrity, of whom it becomes clear that all is not well with his soul.
In V.10 John tells us that he will not allow this behaviour to continue and will ‘call attention to what he (Diotrephes) is doing.’ This type of behaviour is not new in the church, and we ought to follow John’s example and call it out where necessary.
Demetrius is another man of integrity, who sets a good example to other believers.
We need to choose our role models carefully. Who we imitate, what we say and how we behave reveals whether we know God or not, whether all is well with our souls.
Eight indicators that help you consider if it is well with your soul:
- Someone somewhere is praying for you
- People notice that you live out the truth
- You seek/display integrity
- You love one another – your brothers and sisters in Christ – those you know and those you don’t
- You are hospitable, and give to others (open heart, open home)
- You don’t entertain pride and you don’t gossip
- Imitate what is good (follow good role models)
- You have and know the peace of God
May it be well with your soul today