There is an important lesson in Philemon that we all need to learn: you can't force people to do what's right. Paul wanted Philemon to set his slave free, but Paul couldn't force Phi lemon to do so – he could only appeal to Philemon and leave the choice up to him. This Biblical truth has huge application to our lives, and it hits me dead on because of my job working with teenagers. Often I see teens walk down paths that lead to decisions that they will, in the long run, regret. Part of my job is to show them a better path to choose, but I can't force them to choose that path: they have to decide on their own what they will do. Is there someone in your life whom you would like to set straight? Make a compelling case to that person and then set him or her free to make his or her own decision. You can't force someone to do what's right. After all, isn't this how our Heavenly Father treats us? He gives us direction and gives us the freedom to make a decision. And in the end, He allows us to live with the consequences – just as we have to do with others.
You are here: / / You can ‘ t force right (Philemon)
Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.