|Today’s Scripture: For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord? Philemon 1:15-16|
If you have a normal social life, then I can confidently say that somebody has wronged you in some shape or form. In the book of Philemon, we see that Philemon was wronged, and we see the proper response. God’s hand was in the whole situation. Onesimus ran away from Philemon, met Paul, trusted Christ, and eventually came back to Philemon and was a blessing to him.
The question I want to ask you is, “How do you react when something goes wrong, or someone wrongs you?” Your reaction will always be based on your perspective of eternity. The bigger your view of eternity, the smaller the problems of this earth will seem. If your priority is not eternity, but rather the things of this world, then every little thing is going to make you upset.
This causes the unsaved and the undedicated Christian to always be uncertain. If your priority is this life, you will always have to have the latest thing, you will have to be financially secure, and you will always be concerned if your next opportunity will come. When something happens that threatens your possessions, security, or opportunities, then you worry. This is because you are only living for those things. You are not living for anything bigger.
If you are living for eternity, you know you are living for something so much bigger. Dedicated Christians have a certainty that others do not. They know that God will take care of them. They know if a door closes, God will open another door. They also realize that no matter what happens today, the only thing that will matter in eternity is what they did for Christ, not how much they have in there bank account.
Philemon had a bigger view of eternity than his view of this life. He took his servant back not as a servant, but as a brother. He knew the importance of this in light of eternity. His servant was now an eternal brother in Christ, and if Philemon was going to live for eternity, then he would have to treat Onesimus like one.
The reaction is not one of worry or anger. It is a response that realizes if you do what God wants, God will take care of you. Philemon’s unprofitable servant became profitable. If you have been wronged, don’t worry about the trouble that was caused, but just trust God. Don’t focus on the things of this world, but focus on eternity.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder