John writes in the little book of 3rd John, “To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth” (verse 1). “I have much to write to you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face” (verses 13 and 14).
What the apostle John did in the first century for his friend Gaius is a dying art in the twenty first century. John wrote him a letter. With all the technological advancement in this computer age we find it easy to push a few buttons on our computer and send a message to someone. It is both convenient and saves time, but I wonder is it very personal? Is taking the time to write a letter a lost art?
During a week I receive many e-mails and various notes on my computer. They are read and usually deleted. A written letter can be read multiple times. I have received many letters of encouragement over the years. Someone took the time to write. That means a lot to me.
In his letter to Gaius, John included hopes for good health of body and soul. He offers an encouraging word about Gaius’s faithfulness, and a note about his love for the church. John also spoke of a problem in the church, which he promised to address individually later. And he wrote of the value of doing good things for God’s glory. All in all, it was and encouraging and challenging letter to his friend.
Digital communication may mean letter writing on paper is fading away, but this shouldn’t stop us from encouraging others. John wrote his letter on parchment; we can encourage others in a variety of ways. The key is not the way we encourage others, but that we take a moment to let others know we care for them in Jesus name.
There are people all around us that need a word of encouragement. There may be someone who is discouraged and wants to give up. Others may be experiencing loneliness and thinks that no one really cares for them. Be an encourager. Write a note or send a letter to that special person. Do it today.