Although many verses in the Bible tell us to turn away from evil desires and pursue godly desires, in addition to telling us what righteous living looks like (cf. Psalm 34:14, Psalm 37:27, 1 John 3:6, etc.), this verse from 3 John 1 is one that I hear most often.

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.

3 John 1:11 (NIV)

What’s interesting to me is the context of this verse. John had someone in mind when he wrote this. Here’s the context within 3 John 1.

I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church (emphasis added).

3 John 1:9-10 (NIV)

John is talking about Diotrephes. Another exciting aspect of 3 John 1:11 is that John contrasts Diotrephes with someone else. Evident from the verse that follows.

Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.

3 John 1:12 (NIV)

John contrasts Diotrephes with Demetrius. There’s some conjecture as to the identity of Demetrius since the only other Demetrius we read about is from Acts.

A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there.

Acts 19:24 (NIV)

Given that Demetrius was a common name, It’s highly unlikely that the two men are the same. Some think that Demetrius is the person who delivered the letter to Gaius, which makes sense. However, I favor the notion that this Demetrius was, at the very least, another member of the church that contained Diotrephes since John contrasts their dispositions to Christ.

Those are my notes on 3 John 1:11. Thanks for stopping by. I pray that you enjoy the rest of this day the Lord has made!