20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.
21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.
This chapter is about Paul writing to a slaveholder Philemon on behalf of Onesimus a runaway slave. In that culture, the Romans had conquered many and pushed many into servitude. For Paul to write this letter would have gone greatly against societal norms. He wisely calls Philemon to treat Onesimus with brotherly love.
Paul writes this letter expecting the desired outcome. We disagree strongly with the lifestyle of having slaves, but there are some things we can apply to our own character.
1. He was willing to listen- We can become very stubborn and see things from only our point of view. Philemon was approachable enough to listen to a different viewpoint. We would solve so much conflict if we would be willing to listen to the other side of things.
Proverbs 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
2. He was willing to change
Paul said he had confidence that Philemon would do even more than he asked. Wouldn’t our Christian lives be vastly different if we would change whatever the Word of God told us to. A lot of Christians would rather try to twist scripture to justify their actions than just be obedient.
Our challenge today is twofold.
1. To be willing to listen to other’s viewpoints
2. Be willing to make changes based on the Word of God.