The Power of Forgiveness

As Christ forgave we are to forgive

Philemon 1 One thought reverberates through Paul’s letter to Philemon, a slave owner. “I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers.” Paul is grateful and sets the standard for us. We are to be thankful for others in our prayers.

But Paul understood where Philemon stood as one with the power and authority to demand reparations for lost wages. We hear a lot about that today but not much about forgiveness. Paul reminded Philemon that before Christ, we stand equal. There is no slave or free. Onesimus had fled and perhaps stolen property. Forgiveness is complete, even if we must face the consequence of a past sin. Now Onesimus stands before Philemon with Paul’s letter in hand. Philemon knows he has two choices, and Paul is clear about what his choice should be. The principle is that as I have forgiven you, you are to forgive others.

Perhaps someone has wronged us and is in need of forgiveness. What will our choice be? God forgave us; will we forgive others?

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