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
I love the gentleness and candor that came with age for your servant, the Apostle Paul. He knew what Philemon should do. He understood his own passion for the gospel to be honored in how it had changed the runaway slave, Onesimus. But he submitted to honest, humble petition instead of demanding what he believed should be done. Oh God, give me the same selfless gentleness that works well with others and forgets the value of my own opinion. Help me to serve up to people and not Lord down over them. Give me joy in meeting needs and solving problems. Take away my desire to count the cost. Build a wall behind me so I do not shrink back or shirk my responsibilities to meet interpersonal relationships head on with love and honesty. And most of all give me the wisdom to use your gospel grace to restore and not destroy relationships. AMEN
Pastor Don Patterson
Jesus loves to make us bold and comforting at the same time. Ignore fear and rush into the mud pit called friendship.