OVERVIEW: Paul wants Philemon to forgive Onesimus, a runaway slave, and welcome him back as a brother in Christ.
BIG IDEA: Forgive and receive those who have wronged you.
KEY VERSE: Philemon 1:17 (Paul to Philemon)
So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
Forgiven people act differently. Don’t demand justice from those who have wronged you. Let me administer judgment while you focus on forgiving. It’s always easier to forgive when you recall how much you’ve been forgiven. Never forget how much I’ve done for you. I don’t say that to hold it over you. Your sin is gone–I have already forgiven you. But I want you to remember how grateful you were when you received my forgiveness. Extend that same love and grace to others in your life.
Seek to build unity with those different from you based on what you have in common rather than what you don’t. Isn’t it exhausting trying to maintain ill-will towards others? Aren’t you tired of talking behind their backs or fighting the battle in your mind? Simplify your life by offering forgiveness and receiving others back into your life. Be wise and establish boundaries, if needed. But live freely by loving everybody always. It’s a much more productive way to live.
Identify someone you have disagreements with and find at least three things you have in common. Throughout the day and week, look for opportunities to talk about what you have in common with the other person. Seek to strengthen your relationship with him or her.
BONUS Music Video