In Paul’s letter to Philemon, I am amazed at the confrontational skills that Paul exhibits.  In case you may have forgotten, the letter Paul wrote to Philemon is perhaps his most personal letter.  He is writing to Philemon, a friend and brother about Onesimus, a friend and brother. 

Paul’s concern was how Philemon would welcome and later treat his run-away slave, Onesimus.   Philemon’s slave had run away and landed in the same Roman jail as Paul. Paul had led Onesimus to a salvation relationship with Christ. 

Onesimus had come to know that he was a sinner.  He had asked for forgiveness of his sins.  He had asked Jesus to become his Lord and the Master of his life.  He had also become a good friend of Paul’s in the process.

Paul explained that Onesimus was returning to Philemon with Paul’s full support.  Paul challenged Philemon to treat his run-away slave as a brother, not a criminal.  Paul reminded Philemon how much he owed Paul.  He said rather pointedly, “If Onesimus still owes you anything, put it on my account, because, as you know, you owe me your very life.” 

 In a day when slaves were no more than property, this was a pretty risky letter to write.  Yet, Paul was willing to show his love for both men in a deeply personal way.  In reviewing Paul’s attitude, I must re-examine my own attitude toward the people I serve.  As the program leader of Special Gathering, a ministry within the mentally challenged sub-culture, I am called to be the servant of people who are developmentally delayed. 

While I usually regard this as a great honor, there are times that I resent having to move chairs each week and adjust the sound system while I’m also leading praise and worship.  I grow weary of driving a van and picking up people who don’t seem to be able to get ready on time.  However, with Paul, I must remember that in God’s kingdom the proprietor must become the servant and a great apostle writes a letter pleading for mercy from a jail cell. 

In reality and compared to Paul, moving chairs and driving vans seems like a piece of chocolate fudge!

What are some of the things you would rather not have to do in your ministry?  What are some of the things you enjoy that give you great satisfaction?