Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus—

– Philemon 1:8-9 (NIV)

Today’s commentary
by Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

Paul could have used positional authority (he was an apostle, after all), instead he appealed to Philemon on the basis of love. Positional authority will produce results, but not changed attitudes. Wrestling with all of the dynamics that maintain a loving relationship is more challenging, but in the long run it produces results that go beyond the task at hand—it gives us a perspective that will guide us for the rest of our lives.

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