Enjoy Life, Enjoy God

Dale Patterson


February 14, 2011

Functional, useful--handy words in a practical, do-something world.

Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever--no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother.
                                                - Philemon 15,16 TNIV

Paul writes Philemon about the slave whom Philemon owns. Onesimus is the slave's name; his name means "useful." In the course of being with Paul, the useful slave Onesimus comes to faith in Christ. The time has come for Onesimus to return to his owner, Philemon. Yet Paul says, "When Onesimus returns to you, he's more than useful, he's your brother in Christ. Treat him not as your slave, but as your brother."

The change of identity in Onesimus is one that we all undertake when we put our faith in Christ. Not slaves, but sisters and brothers all around us. This is not a situation of sibling rivalry, but one of sisterly/brotherly love. Love is much more important than useful.


Dale Patterson