Philemon 17-21

Today will be another day of decisions. Even if you decide there will be no decisions today.

This letter challenges Paul’s friend to make a decision quite rare. Paul is not asking him to campaign against slavery but what will he do with this one slave, Onesimus. Perhaps before we begin to tackle the world we clear up our own backyard?

“So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. I do wish, brother, that I may have 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 ask.” (Philemon 17-21)

Imagine with me a house full of people gathering together and listening to this personal letter addressed to Philemon being read aloud.

Looking intently at Philemon’s face, watching for any reactions, ’what will he do?’

Someone is always watching the decisions we make. Here are seven questions that come out of what we have read. Chose one or all seven to answer.

  1. Who will be impacted by the decision you make? Is the impact worth it?
  2. Is the decision in line with the culture you are trying to develop in your own life and home even if it runs counter cultural to your upbringing or society?
  3. When was the last time you chose grace over justice? Do you have to do this again?
  4. Who owes you and who do you owe to?
  5. What have you simply tried to ignore instead of working towards reconciliation?
  6. Who do you need to trust to gain confidence that someone has changed?
  7. Are you willing to lose in order to forgive? Will you risk your reputation? The argument? Finance?

These are the seven questions within these 4 verses that Philemon was having to face. One of these questions will no doubt be what someone has to answer today. People are waiting and watching what you decide.

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