How are your relationships? The global pandemic changed how we interacted with one another. Some relationships were stretched to near breaking points because families who had historically not spent much time together were forced to, through quarantine, lockdown, and virtual work & school. To introverts, the pandemic seemed like an answer to prayer and an excuse to lean into their desire to be away from other people. While extroverts found that the pandemic almost made them crazy as they sought diligently at every turn to find some way out to be around others. Regardless, all of our relationships were affected in some way by this pandemic.
Additionally, we live in a very individualistic society where we are encouraged to do what is best for us, no matter how it affects the greater community. Many individuals' lives are consumed by social media where there may be an abundance of “friends,” “likes,” or “snaps,” but there are no true relationships that exist. As we have been reading through the Bible together, one of the things the Lord continues to bring to my attention is the importance of relationships.
This short letter of 3 John shows readers how important relationships were to John and specifically, how much Gaius meant to him. John says that there is no greater joy in his life than to see his “children” walking in the truth! These are not John’s biological children, but they are individuals in whom John has invested his life to see them grow in the faith. These relationships are such a vital part of John’s life that he says he has no greater joy than to see those in whom he has invested walking closely with Jesus!
What about you? How are your relationships? Do you have anyone in your life whom you could refer to as “children” in the faith? If not, why? Are relationships a source of joy for you? Our God is a relational being and part of the Imago Dei instilled in us is that we are also relational beings. Friend, be counter-cultural in your relationships! Invest in people. It’s messy but worth every bit of the mess!