July 21-22: Devotion: Philemon 1:11: Seeing the Value in Others

Posted: July 22, 2012 in Devotions, Pastoral ministry, Philemon, Resurrection

11 He was useless to you before, but now he is useful to both of us. – Philemon 1:11

Have you ever written someone off?

It’s a painful admission and maybe it comes when we feel as if we’ve exhausted every possible option.  We write that person off.  It’s someone who doesn’t measure up, who can’t do the job, or you can’t get it together in their life.  We write them off.

It’s a statement of the way that we value them.  In this case, we’re saying they have little value to us.  They become useless.

Maybe that’s at the heart of what Paul is writing in this letter to Philemon.  Philemon’s servant Onesimus ran away and made his way to Paul (who is in prison).  Who knows?  Maybe in anger, Philemon has declared Onesimus to be of little value now.  After all, Onesimus is a runaway servant.

The funny thing about the letter is that Paul is going to send it to Philemon through Onesimus.  This runaway servant and the master are going to have to come face to face.

Paul makes an appeal to change the value of Onesimus.  He has value.  He might have been useless to you, but now, he is of value to both you and I.

This reminds me of those times I’m asked whether I know someone.  The person asking the question wants to know how I value this person in question.  Oh, he’s a great guy. I think a lot of him.  It’s a statement that goes a long way in creating relationships.

Are you quick to write off others in relationships?  Are you quick to declare them as having little value?   Or, do you see their value?

Prayer:  O God, you see value in me and you don’t write me off.  Help me to see others in the way that you see them.  Amen.

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