2 John 1-3
A letter from “The Old One” to the chosen church. Love you, people! And not just me, but everyone who really knows you. The truth is is with us and always will be.
Grace, relief, and peace are ours, from God and from Jesus, God’s child. Truly, it’s God’s love.
The Old One’s two primary concerns for the church are love and truth. If your church (or your business, or your family, or your community) have these things, chances are you’re on the right track.
By love, we’re talking about real, genuine caring for one another. We’re talking about really knowing who the people in your community are, not just who they appear to be as they talk about the weather. Love goes deeper than camaraderie around the water cooler or the coffee pot. It means when you know someone is in need, you do something about it, rather than treating it like just so much information. It’s raising what Robert Putnam and others have called the information-action ratio of your community. Or, as Boston used to sing it, “It’s more than a feeling.”
By truth we’re not talking about just propositional or factual accuracy, but genuine transparency of who people are and what state of relationship we’re in. Which means not hiding who we really are or what’s really on our minds, or pretending to be someone we’re not. It’s a matter of being authentic. And it functions on both the individual and communal levels.
Get these two things right, and your community is probably healthier than most.
Get these two things right, and you’ve probably got a God thing going on.
(Get them wrong and you end up in the picture, above.)