Brothers who hurt us

How do we relate with those who have hurt us? Most focus on the person and the offence. What happens when we bring in Jesus’ perspective.

Paul wrote a letter to Philemon, whose slave had run away to Paul and through Paul had come to faith. He sends the slave back with an appeal to Philemon for mercy. I have adjusted the letter to make it from Jesus to you, the hurt one, on behalf of the one who has caused you grief. Try reading it, inserting your own name, and the name of the one who caused grief –

To (Your name here),

Grace and peace to you.

I am always thankful when I remember you … accordingly, even though I could command you, for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you. I appeal to you for my child (The name of one causing grief), whose father I have become. I am sending him to you, sending my very heart.  … I prefer to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord.

So, if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Jesus, write this with my own hand: I will repay it – to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. Yes, dear one, I want some benefit from you! Refresh my heart through my power.       

Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.

Jesus

Philemon