Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.Philemon 8-11
Do the right thing. I think often we can feel compelled to do the right thing, but how much better do we feel when we don’t need to be prodded?
As Paul develops his letter to Philemon, it becomes clear that he is writing on behalf of Onesimus, a slave who escaped from Philemon some time ago. As a leader in the church, Paul had every right to force Philemon’s hand, instead, he appeals to Philemon’s own sense of what his life was before and after Christ as it relates to Onesimus who also became a follower of Christ under the ministry of Paul in Rome. He appeals to Christian love and forgiveness.
How many of us have been wronged by someone? We know forgiveness is essential and it is good to be reminded of our own situation and our own need for redemption.