Go Ye Therefore

The Law of Connection Part 20

Paul Connects-Philemon 4-22

In the very personal letter of Philemon, Paul asks his friend to do something very difficult: graciously receive back a runaway slave. Before he confronts Philemon, Paul connects by walking through the following stages of conflict management:

  1. The compliment stage (vv. 4-7)

Paul affirmed Philemon, and reminded him of his love. Good leaders begin confrontation with affirmation. They focus on positive qualities.

  1. The compromise stage (vv. 8-13)

Before his appeal, Paul concedes the present status of the slave, Onesimus. Good leaders own some responsibility for the conflict and recognize their differences.

  1. The choice stage (v. 14)

Paul sought the consent of Philemon to send back Onesimus. He laid out the challenge to receive him. In this stage, leaders clearly articulate the decision in front of both parties.

  1. The challenge stage (vv. 15-20)

Paul challenged Philemon, to do what was right. He committed two steps he’d take to make things right but issued a challenge to Philemon to respond and take the high road.

  1. The confidence stage (vv. 21, 22)

Paul expressed confidence in Philemon that he would, indeed, do what was right in the sight of God. Paul believed the best about his friend and communicated his love for him.

Join me next time for The Law of Connection Part 21