I really cringe when I think of the many people that I have hurt in my life. I wish there were not so many. God cares about reconciliation, and He speaks to each of us about people that we have hurt, used, or abused. We are commanded to treat others with love, always. But as fallible humans, we too often throw off Godly love and treat people wrongly anyway. In today’s reading we see God dealing with a man named Philemon who seems to have been taken advantage of, or shamed, by someone named Onesimus. The apostle Paul has friendships with both men and has written to facilitate healing. Paul stands in for Onesimus because he has witnessed his true conversion to Christianity. Paul wants this changed Onesimus to go back home and face Philemon, and he wants Philemon to accept Onesimus with God’s forgiveness. Paul utilizes his friendship with Philemon to enable reconciliation between two Christians.
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