What to Be: Be an Onesimus

“He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.” (Colossians 4:9)

The question of the week is what kind of Christ-follower we’re going to be. And we’re looking for inspiration from Paul’s entourage in Colossians 4.

whatto_350Our next role model is a thieving runaway slave – but that’s not the role model part. Onesimus had been a slave in Colosse in the home of his wealthy master Philemon, a Christian. Apparently, Onesimus robbed Philemon and ran away to Rome, where he somehow met Paul, became a Christian, and became very dear to Paul.

Here’s the role model part: Onesimus went back to make things right with Philemon (with a very high letter of recommendation from Paul). Even though most of us would agree that slavery is an evil institution, Onesimus refused to justify his sin.

Think: Have you done anything sinful that needs to be owned up to and made right? Is that thing standing in the way somehow of your service to Christ? What do you need to do this week to confess and repent of that so you can move on?

Pray: Ask God to help you to take responsibility for any sin you have committed against another person. Ask him for the opportunity, courage, and humility to make it right.

Do: Read Paul’s letter of recommendation for Onesimus in the tiny little book of Philemon. Notice how Paul talks about the then culturally accepted practice of slavery within the larger context of Christianity.