Have you ever been in a conversation with a friend or co-worker and used this expression “it’s a small world”? I am referring to the intricate web of human connections that are a part of all of our lives. I believe that God in his own timing connects each of us with other people according to his plan for a purpose.
As I look into the personal letter written by Paul to Philemon I see how God used their relationship (their connection) to not only help change the life of Onesimus but also as an example for us of Paul’s passion for the lost and his influence as a leader.
Onesimus, a runaway slave from the house of Philemon is hiding out in Rome and through God’s design connects into Paul’s life that at the time is imprisoned and becomes a Christian. Knowing that Onesimus needed to right himself with Philemon Paul sends him back to Colosse with this personal letter urging Philemon to forgive Onesimus and to welcome him as a brother in Christ.
“I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of Love”(vs. 9), this appeal as leaders should be the focus of how we should not only lead but in how train new leaders… in love. How better received is an appeal in love than a command or order from those who lead. In Paul’s words to Philemon we get a sense of respect and appreciation for the work that he has done and for the future work ahead of them.
As leaders we need to look back at 1 Corinthians 13 and be reminded of what leading in love requires. Leading requires patience, leading requires kindness, leading requires being humble and leading requires being truthful. As leaders when we come to the table with an attitude of love for others and for our creator we will be used to help build His kingdom.