|Philemon 1:11- “Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.”
Are you useful?
We say, “yes,” but how are you useful?
One of the more fascinating letters in the New Testament was written to a Christian slaveholder in Colossae. His name was Philemon.
The little book is more of a postcard. In it, Paul introduces us to a man named Onesimus.
Onesimus was a slave owned by Philemon. He decided to run away and enjoy his freedom. It is this fugitive that crosses Paul’s path. It ends in his conversion to Christ, and he becomes more than a slave to Philemon. He becomes his brother.
So, Paul uses this little missive to present a request to Philemon. And the messenger? No less than Onesimus. Paul asks for Onesimus’ release to help him while Paul is imprisoned.
Everything about Onesimus gets captured in a single verse:
“Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.” (Philemon 11)
It was a dramatic change. Onesimus finally lived up to his name, which meant Useful.
How can each one of us be useful to those around us right now?
Sometimes we look for grand gestures.
Perhaps, you can just be useful, of service to another? Maybe it is helping with a task around the house Perhaps it means cooperating when you prefer not to.
But relationships demand an Onesimus, the useful one. Will you be useful?
-Robert G. Taylor-