Gaius was a selfless person who lived for others. He was not consumed with his own “stuff” as many of us do today. There are benefits to living for others instead of ourselves. There are also risks and stresses associated. It’s a sacrifice we have to make to do so. This book compares the lives of two people Gaius and Diotrephes. One is selfless and the other is selfish. Discuss!
How do these two attributes affect your ministry as a Christian?
When you live selflessly:
- You prosper your own soul V1-4. John knew that Gaius was a godly man so he prayed for him that he should prosper as his soul was prospering. This is not a magic rule for prosperity. Gal 6:7-9. When you reach to others in ministry like Gaius, your life will prosper too. The connections you make, the influence you have and the blessings that follow are great.
- We proclaim the truth to the lost. V5-8. When you are hospitable and selfless, you give to the people of God and in the process grow the church. When you enable ministry to others, then you are contributing to preaching the gospel. Gaius took care of several people.
- We participate in the ministry of others. V8. Where you cannot do ministry personally then what you give or contribute can make a difference? What are you giving or adding to the ministry of others in Christ? How many ministers have come through your home lately?
- We please the Lord v 5,6,11. We do well when we live for others. Good works are important before God. We do good works not to be saved but because we are saved. Heb. 6:10
- We provide the financial base for the gospel. V7. It’s up to the church to support traveling evangelists. We are called to support the mission work of the church.
- When we are selfless, we produce joy in the hearts of our leaders. V 3.
On the other hand when we live selfishly: v 9-11. Diotrephes loved to promote himself in the church and refused to offer hospitality to those John was sending. Diotrephes was a Christian but he had issues.
- When we live selfishly, we place ourselves above others. If we are at the top in our lives, Christ cannot be a part of our lives.
- When we live selfishly, we profane the gospel. Diotrephes did not only refuse to be hospitable to other believers and ministry, but he was also aggressive in his opposition to the truth. V10.
How can you handle a person like Diotrephes in the church? We often don’t confront selfish people like this in the church. Discuss Rom 2:5-11; Phil 1:15-18; Phil 2:1-11
How can you preach Christ out of selfishness? What are the motivations of some preachers? What are some characteristics of those who live selfish? How can you esteem others above yourself?