“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3 John 4)
By the time he wrote this, John was old. He saw the church and the followers of Christ as His children. As their “father,” he worried about them. With that understanding of his relationship with the church, it’s not wonder that he took great joy in knowing that those followers of Christ, his “children,” were walking in the truth of God’s word and love. As a pastor, he sweated blood and tears over his people to guide them in the paths they should go. He probably spent hours in prayer over his “children.” To see that his blood, sweat, and prayers had borne such fruit gave him great joy, as it would any pastor.
As a parent, I want the best for my children. When they succeed in what they’re doing, I rejoice. When they struggle, and when they fail, I hurt with them. As a pastor I felt the same way about the members of my church. But that joy wasn’t just for success in daily life, moreso it was for growth in their walk with Christ. While I cheered their advances in the world, I was careful to look at their spiritual walk because sometimes, the worst thing that can happen to a Christian is success in the world. If you want to give joy to your family and to your church family, especially your pastor, walk in the truth and stay grounded in the faith in all situations. There’s no greater joy for any pastor than to see God’s people walking in the truth.
Lord, I know that You rejoice when Your children walk in the truth. Let my life bring You joy as I walk in the truth of Your love and grace.