Once there were three men who served in the same community—Gaius, Diotrephes, and Demetrius.

Gaius was “Mr. Nice Guy.” But that doesn’t mean he was a pushover, as some movies portray nice guys. He rightly discerned who needed help and faithfully cared for those who served God—even if they were strangers (3 John 1:5). He was a man of integrity (3 John 1:3), but that wasn’t his best quality. For Gaius was a man “strong in spirit” (3 John 1:2) who possessed a steady walk with God.

As for Diotrephes, let’s just say it would have been good to avoid him (3 John 1:9). But then again, it would have been hard to ignore his presence. Apparently, he loved taking the lead. Diotrephes made his negative opinions and “accusations” heard, championing his own agenda (3 John 1:10). He liked playing the part of chief of church discipline and put people out of fellowship for—of all things—serving others. If Diotrephes didn’t like someone, he would scratch that person’s name off the list and send them packing. He was a truly arrogant, selfish, and domineering guy.

Finally, there was Demetrius. Everyone spoke highly of Demetrius. His conduct meshed well with God’s Word, and he was a worthy role model (3 John 1:12).

At the end of the day, there’s a simple way to describe these three men: Christlike or not Christlike. It’s pretty obvious to see which guys were the Christlike ones and which one wasn’t.

These three men lived nearly 2,000 years ago. But they continue to be presented as examples in Scripture—either good or bad.

When our names are mentioned in the future, what will be said of us? Christlike man? Christlike woman? Just as with Gaius, Diotrephes, and Demetrius, our character and how we served others in Jesus’ name will tell the tale.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Mark 10:1-16