1 Greetings from John “the elder” to my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
2 Dear friend, I pray that you would prosper with both physical and spiritual health.
3 I was elated when some Christian brothers and sisters arrived with news about you. They were raving about how faithfully you live out the truth. 4 Nothing -- absolutely nothing -- makes my day like hearing how my children get truth and make it the basis of their lives.
5 Dear friend, the Christian brothers and sisters who showed up on your doorstep were total strangers to you, yet you displayed true faithfulness in the way that you welcomed them. 6 It is no wonder that they speak so highly of you during the sharing time at our church gatherings. Keep it up. Help out the missionaries as they travel about with the message of Jesus. 7 The non-Christians are certainly not paying their way. And your care really honors God. 8 It makes sense that we help out people like this. When we do so we become coworkers partnering with the truth.
9 I actually wrote something to the church about all this, but in contrast to you, Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, is making us feel unwelcome. 10 If we do end up coming, I will spell out all the ways that he is mistreating us—making false --and might we even say wicked -- accusations against us. And if that were not bad enough, in addition to his refusal to extend Christian hospitality to the brothers and sisters, he also throws up roadblocks in front of those who are trying to do the right thing. He has even tossed people out of the fellowship of the church!
11 So dear friend, take the high road. Don’t follow Diotrephes. Don’t use him as a model. Instead of mimicking bad behavior, imitate what is good. It’s clear that those who practice good belong to God. Those who act bad, regardless of what they say, are totally clueless about God.
12 On the other hand, everyone speaks quite highly of Demetrius. Even the truth itself recognizes him as a coworker. He has our recommendation. And you know that we are speaking the truth.
13 I have plenty more to say to you, but I prefer to not put it in writing. 14 I expect that I’ll be seeing you soon enough. Then we can have a good face-to-face chat.
15 Be blessed with peace. Your friends here send greetings your way. Likewise greet each and every one of our friends there.