Contemporary English Version (CEV)
I was listening to someone talk about the millennial culture once, and they described them as skeptical since the entire generation has been bombarded by advertising since the day they were born -- so they've grown a serious distrust for whatever is told them, because they assume they are just being sold something. As a result, many start to distrust the larger narratives that hold our society together. (It's not just true of millennials, I think, but that was the focus of the talk). The salesmanship of the few leads to a mistrust of the many.
This happens in the church, right? People have experience with a Christian of less than ideal integrity or they hear of the latest church scandal or maybe they just feel like they're being sold something, and so they tune out, certain that the whole is like that portion of it.
In light of that, I am grateful for the way 2 John starts. He writes from love, and he writes because of love. He has been loved by the Father, and now he loves others because of it, and everyone else who is with him loves them, too, because they have been loved by the Father. There's no salesmanship -- just genuine love, born of a greater love than can be imagined. God loves you, and so you love others.
If we could all learn to love with such unconditional love, the world would be a better place. You and I probably jump to all the reasons that it wouldn't happen, but wouldn't it be great if the church, if the members of the church, if you and could just love people selflessly for one day? What if that was today? What would that look like?