Charge It To My Account




Paul the Apostle was writing from a prison cell to Philemon. He was overjoyed about the love and faith that he was hearing about Philemon and the other believers in Jesus Christ. Most of us are familiar with the phrase “pay it forward,” which is an act of kindness toward another person or group of people. For example, a family is out to dinner and the meal is paid for by someone unknown to them or somebody, at the drive-through window, who orders coffee or fast food. The person in the auto in front of you pays for your food and drink without them even knowing about it until they get to the window. The clerk then tells the person, “Your coffee and food are paid for from the person who just left.” Now I am sure that would make your day! I have been fortunate to have been a recipient a couple of times in a Dunkin Donut drive-thru and have also paid it forward a few times.


Paul’s letter to Philemon was somewhat of a favor to ask of him because he was instrumental in leading Onesimus a runaway slave from Philemon, so Philemon has little trust in this guy who abandoned him. Now that his life has changed Paul led him to Christ and was discipling him. Paul wanted him to be an encourager for the other believers. Paul even mentions that he is now profitable to them and himself. "I appeal to you for my [own spiritual] child, Onesimus [meaning profitable], whom I have begotten [in the faith] while a captive in these chains. Once he was unprofitable to you, but now he is indeed profitable to you as well as to me. I am sending him back to you in his own person, [and it is like sending] my very heart," Philemon 10-12 AMP).


Paul did not want to use his authority when sending Onesimus but notice he treats Philemon and the church with respect and speaks to them as adults and not like little children who needed reprimanding, for example, "do this or else." Rather he states, "that he would rather appeal to you." "Therefore, though I have abundant boldness in Christ to charge you to do what is fitting and required and your duty to do, Yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you just for what I am–I, Paul, an ambassador [of Christ Jesus] and an old man and now a prisoner for His sake also–I appeal to you for my [own spiritual] child, Onesimus [meaning profitable], whom I have begotten [in the faith] while a captive in these chains. Once he was unprofitable to you, but now he is indeed profitable to you as well as to me," (Philemon 9-11).