For this reason, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do your duty, yet I would rather appeal to you on the basis of love…” vs. 8Philemon 1:8-9
Paul has a favor to ask of his friend Philemon, a leader of the congregation at Colossae. Philemon’s runaway slave, Onesimus, a new Christian, has become a companion to Paul in prison. Paul would like Philemon to welcome Onesimus back as a brother in Christ and to set him free. Paul believes that he could command this, but he prefers that Philemon do this good deed on the basis of love. His example is instructive–the way of love can be painstakingly slow while commandments get more immediate results. Parents who wait for their children to do their chores out of love will more than likely end up doing the chores themselves. It’s a lot easier to just order things to be done! But that isn’t how love works. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Love is patient; love is kind.” It may take a while for desired results to take place, but when loving change does occur it will be from the heart, and last forever. We might get impatient, but in the long run, loving a person into goodness is the way of Christ. And it works! Even the most resistant people will eventually be moved by love if only we have the patience to keep on loving.
Thought for the Day: Am I a commander or a lover?