Philemon | Nothing Wasted Week 2 | St. George
BOUNDARIES are limits that establish OWNERSHIP.
Sometimes what hurts was done BY me and sometimes it’s done TO me.
Philemon 1:1-7 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker—also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people
Philemon 1:8-11 Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
What prompted us to feel USELESS can also provide us an opportunity to be USEFUL.
Philemon 1:12-16 I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary. Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.
Reality Check: Your previous ACTIVITY is not the basis for your current IDENTITY.
Two Benefits of Good Boundaries
Benefit #1: BOUNDARIES help hurts heal.
Benefit #2: Boundaries PREVENT future hurts.
Philemon 1:17-18 So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.
SERIES THESIS: God never wastes a hurt but we do.
We waste a hurt when we MINIMIZE it.
We waste a hurt when we CONCEAL it.
We begin to heal a hurt when we CONFESS it.
“We feel guilty when we hold up something we’ve done or failed to do against our values and find they don’t match up. It’s psychologically uncomfortable feeling, but one that’s helpful. Shame, however, corrodes the very part of us that believes we can change and do better.”
Brene Brown (Dare To Lead)
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.
Philemon’s Take-a-way: Don’t waste an opportunity to do what LOVE requires.
Onesimus’ Take-a-way: Don’t waste the opportunity to TELL myself a different story regarding my PAST.
Question for students and parents:
1. Which do you feel better describes our relationship: I make decisions for you, or, I empower you to make decisions?
1. Give an example of when someone crossed a personal boundary of yours. What was your reaction? Did you say anything to the person? Why? Why not?
2. What are some examples of important boundaries in every good relationship?
3. Read the Apostle Paul’s letter to his friend Philemon. Put yourself in Philemon’s shoes - how do you respond to what Paul said? Now put yourself in Onesimus’ shoes - how do you respond to what Paul said?
4. Please review the ways that we can “waste a hurt.” What would you say to encourage someone who had suffered from a personal failure (done something terribly wrong)?
5. Read James 5:16 What makes you hesitant to confess your sins to others? What story are you telling yourself about yourself?