1-4 The Pastor, to my good friend Gaius: How truly I love you! We’re the best of friends, and I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health—that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul! I was most happy when some friends arrived and brought the news that you persist in following the way of Truth. Nothing could make me happier than getting reports that my children continue diligently in the way of Truth!
Model the Good
5-8 Dear friend, when you extend hospitality to Christian brothers and sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible. They’ve made a full report back to the church here, a message about your love. It’s good work you’re doing, helping these travelers on their way, hospitality worthy of God himself! They set out under the banner of the Name, and get no help from unbelievers. So they deserve any support we can give them. In providing meals and a bed, we become their companions in spreading the Truth.
9-10 Earlier I wrote something along this line to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves being in charge, denigrates my counsel. If I come, you can be sure I’ll hold him to account for spreading vicious rumors about us.
As if that weren’t bad enough, he not only refuses hospitality to traveling Christians but tries to stop others from welcoming them. Worse yet, instead of inviting them in he throws them out.
11 Friend, don’t go along with evil. Model the good. The person who does good does God’s work. The person who does evil falsifies God, doesn’t know the first thing about God.
12 Everyone has a good word for Demetrius—the Truth itself stands up for Demetrius! We concur, and you know we don’t hand out endorsements lightly.
13-14 I have a lot more things to tell you, but I’d rather not use pen and ink. I hope to be there soon in person and have a heart-to-heart talk.
Peace to you. The friends here say hello. Greet our friends there by name.
1 Ndine mkulu wampingo, kulembera:
Gayo mnzanga wokondedwa, amene ndimamukonda mʼchoonadi.
2 Wokondedwa, ndimakupempherera kuti zako zonse zikuyendere bwino, ndikuti ukhale bwino mʼthupi mwako, monga momwe ulili moyo wako wauzimu. 3 Ine ndinali ndi chimwemwe chachikulu pamene abale ena anafika nʼkundifotokozera za kukhulupirika kwako pa choonadi ndiponso mmene umayendera motsata choonadi. 4 Palibe chondikondweretsa kwambiri kuposa kumva kuti ana anga akukhala mʼchoonadi.
5 Wokondedwa, ndiwe wokhulupirika pa zimene ukuchitira abale, ngakhale kuti iwowo ndi alendo. 6 Iwo anafotokozera mpingo za chikondi chako. Chonde uwathandize kupitiriza ulendo mʼnjira yokondweretsa Mulungu. 7 Pakuti ananyamuka ulendo wawo chifukwa cha dzina la Ambuye, osalandira thandizo kwa osakhulupirira. 8 Ife tiyenera kumathandiza anthu oterewa, kuti tigwirizane nawo pa ntchito ya choonadi.
Za Diotrefe ndi Demetriyo
9 Ndinalembera mpingo, koma Diotrefe, amene amafuna kukhala wotsogolera, sanafune kutimvera. 10 Tsono ndikabwera ndidzakumbutsa zimene iye amachita. Iye amafalitsa nkhani zabodza zonena ife. Ndipo sakhutira ndi zimenezo, komanso iyeyo amakana kulandira abale. Komanso amaletsa amene akufuna kutero, ndipo amawachotsa mu mpingo.
11 Wokondedwa, usatsatire zinthu zoyipa koma zinthu zabwino. Aliyense amene amachita zinthu zabwino ndi wochokera kwa Mulungu. Aliyense amene amachita zoyipa sanamuonepo Mulungu. 12 Aliyense akumuchitira umboni wabwino wa Demetriyo. Ngakhale choona chomwe chimamuchitira umboni, ndipo iweyo ukudziwa kuti umboni wathu ndi woona.
13 Ndili ndi zambiri zoti ndikulembereni, koma sindikufuna kuzilemba mʼkalata. 14 Ndiyembekezera kufika kwanuko posachedwapa, ndipo tidzakambirana pamaso ndi pamaso.
15 Mtendere ukhale nawe. Abwenzi anu kuno akupereka moni. Upereke moni kwa abwenzi onse mmodzimmodzi.