Paul urges Philemon to have mercy on his runaway slave, Onesimus, who has become a Christian.
If anyone is a servant of Christ, he cannot be a tyrant to men. Jesus taught forgiveness, compassion, and gentleness not harshness, anger, and retribution. Paul urges Philemon to forgive, receive, and restore his runaway slave, Onesimus, as a brother in Christ, now that he has become a Christian. The fact that this letter has been preserved indicates Philemon’s favorable response. Although we do not have slaves today, our employees, co-workers, associates, and neighbors deserve respect from us. Service to Christ requires a forgiving spirit.