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Essay by   •  November 20, 2010  •  Essay  •  430 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,079 Views

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When Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon, it was risk that Onesimus could suffer more punishment for the crime that he had committed. However, Onesimus had gained the trust of Paul and had gained some type of value to Paul. Paul must have believed that because Onesimus had gained his trust, he could do the same for Philemon. Onesimus may have had once proven himself unbeneficial to God's kingdom. It is very difficult to trust someone after they have proven themselves unreliable. It would have been very easy for Onesimus to make any mistake that would cause more punishment. Today, it is very easy for any of us to complain about work and try to slack because we feel we are not getting back what we put in. Christians must strive to be different. They are always held to the highest expectations. As a Christian, you are expected to be kind to others even when they are unkind to you. This is why as Christians, we should give people that may be unkind to us a chance to gain our trust. If someone is never given a chance to change, then it is inevitable that they will remain unreliable.

In Paul's letter, he may have seemed harsh when speaking of the seriousness of the situation. However, Paul was in prison because of the Gospel message of Christ. If you were being held captive because God has told you to spread his Gospel, would you use any other tone than that of the most importance? I think that he said it exactly as it needed to be said and that Onesimus was his brother through Christ.

If Philemon felt like he had no choice but to forgive Onesimus, he still had a choice and he must have felt that it was the right thing to do. There is nothing unethical about telling the truth. If Paul felt that Onesimus should be forgiven for his mistakes and given another chance, Philemon still had to agree with that assumption and ultimately free him.

I do not know if Onesimus was forgiven by Philemon. I believe everything happens for a reason and there are no coincidences. Because Paul was so sure that Onesimus could be trusted and could be given another chance, there is no doubt in my mind that Onesimus could have become a bishop. It is no coincidence that the letter from Ephesus was similar to the one sent to Onesimus the Bishop, and there is undoubtedly no reason why Onesimus could not have become a bishop if Paul had so much faith in him.



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