Sunday, February 09, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Finders Keepers? (Philemon 1:8-22 ESV)

Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you. (Philemon 1:8-22 ESV)

This seems pretty self explanitory.  It looks like Paul has led a runaway slave to The Lord and now he is asking the slave's master, Philemon to take his bondservant back as a brother in The Lord and to treat him as such.  

Paul would much rather keep him for his own benefit of spiritual refreshment but decides to do the right thing and return him to his owner with the request that he be recieved and treated well as a fellow Christian and believer.

So, Paul has found "something" that is not his.  He is tempted to keep Onesimus for his own benefit but does the right thing by returning him.  Have I ever found something that does not belong to me and kept it for my own benefit when I could have possibly search for the owner and returned the item?  

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