3 John 1:2
Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.
I. IT IS A LAW OF LIFE THAT HEALTH IS ESSENTIAL TO PERFECT ENJOYMENT.
II. PERFECT SOUL HEALTH IS THE BEST SAFEGUARD AGAINST THE FORCE OF TEMPTATION. It is becoming more and more acknowledged that bodily disease is due not so much to outward causes as to predisposing causes. It arises not so much from the presence of disease germs without, but susceptibility of tissue that provides soil for their ready growth. When the seeds of disease are already in the body, outward causes may soon provoke their development. Is it not so with the soul's life? When the pulse of the soul is feeble and the moral tone low, a man soon succumbs to moral taint.
III. PERFECT SOUL HEALTH IS ESSENTIAL TO TRUE SPIRITUAL GROWTH. "Dwarfs are much more common in the spiritual than in the physical sphere." Many Christians remain at the earliest stage of the Christian life. They are ever in religious childhood.
IV. THE MEANS TO BE EMPLOYED FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF SPIRITUAL HEALTH. It is a sine qua non that a healthy Christian breathes pure air. When a diver goes down into the sea he takes full care to be supplied with a sufficient amount of pure air from above. Our daily duties may bring us into surroundings very uncongenial to the religious life. We have no right, however, to involve ourselves in any situation or engage in any pursuit where the atmosphere of prayer cannot reach us. No one expects to nourish and build up a robust physical frame on mere condiments and confectionery. The result would soon become apparent in impoverished blood and feeble pulse. Aye, and men cannot nourish their souls on daily newspapers and exciting novels. An old writer says: "Thou canst not read the Scriptures too much, and what thou readest thou canst not read too well, and what thou readest well thou canst not too well understand, and what thou understandest well thou canst not too well teach, and what thou teachest well thou canst not too well live." Food may be received into the system, but the body is not nourished and strengthened unless its various faculties are brought into suitable exercise. Half the worries and vexations which afflict many Christians would disappear if they were more active for their master, "working with both hands earnestly" for His cause.
(J. G. Greaves.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.