3 John 1 – 4: Atta-boy!

III John 1-4 “The elder, to my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

I love being a mom. And as a mom, I do things for my children simply because I love them, without expecting any kind of recognition. I clean house, do laundry, prepare meals, provide taxi service, help with homework . . . and it is my joy. But every once in a while, one child or the other will lunge at me with a big hug and say, “I love you, Mommy! You’re the best mom in the world!”

mother and son (soft)

Ahhhh. It sure feels nice to hear those words. It’s always encouraging to receive a pat on the back, confirmation that you are doing a good job.

What an encouraging letter John wrote! Gaius must have beamed with joy as he read the above words, penned by his good friend and teacher. Everyone needs confirmation, acknowledgment, an “Atta-boy” every now and then. And John was giving just that to one of his  children in the faith.

All too often, we get so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget to encourage those around us. But encouraging words can be a healing balm to those who have worked, who have done well, and who may be getting tired. Sometimes, just a little pat on the back and a few kind words of appreciation, of shared joy and pride over a job well done, can be just the fuel needed for a weary brother to continue in the faith.

Dear Father, Please keep me from self-centeredness. Help me to notice the hard work and  faithfulness of others. Use my words as encouragement to them to keep going.

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