Thursday, December 29, 2022

Reconciling Relationships: The Book of Philemon

Reconciling Relationships
Reconciling Relationships

At the end of a calendar year, we tend to reflect on the past 12 months.  We think about all the things that have happened in a year's time and how those happenings affected us throughout the year.  Sometimes we find ourselves grieving the loss of a relationship, sometimes a long-time friendship and sometimes a family member.  No matter the grievance that separated a once very close relationship, there is hope of reconciliation.  You might be thinking, "Oh but you don't understand.  There is no way I can ever get over what that person did to me," or you might be thinking, "Oh but you don't understand.  There is no way that person can ever forgive what I did to him or her.  I caused so much pain."  Well, I understand that.  I know that some things take a lot more effort than other things.  Some relationships are broken over a level of betrayal and hurt that our human hearts could never heal on our own - on our own - but when Jesus meets us in our hurt, reconciliation is possible.  This is different from circumstances where there was abuse.  God can forgive that too but I know that sometimes we have to draw boundaries, sometimes permanent boundaries, especially where abuse is part of the equation.  In those cases, forgiveness is still possible and that is a whole other conversation for another day with someone much more qualified than me to address those situations.  For now, let's focus on reconciling relationships that were broken over other things.  There is a whole list of possibilities here but let's go straight to scripture and look at Paul's letter to Philemon.  Paul's letter to Philemon deals with forgiveness and reconciliation.

Read the Scripture in full context here at Bible Gateway.

This post is written from my personal Bible study notes taken during my pastor's sermon.

Reconciling Relationships

1.  Don't put an issue over a relationship.

Remember that tone and words matter.  Sometimes it is not what we say that is hurtful but it's how we say it.  In Philemon, verse 9, Paul writes that his letter is for love's sake.

Yet for love's sake, I rather appeal to you - since I am a person such as Paul, an old man, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus. - Philemon 9

Motives matter.  Reconciliation is drawn out of love.  

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8
Reconciling Relationships
This wall art based on Romans 5:8 is available here.

Elevate love and relationships over issues.  We can reconcile.

2.  Don't forget what the gospel can do.

Onesimus was a thief who ran away, but Paul calls him his child.  Onesimus got saved.  The gospel changes everything.  

(Here is a helpful commentary on Onesimus.)

The gospel can change anyone.  No sin or any past is bigger than the gospel.  The gospel changes relationships.

A renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, and free, but Christ is all, and in all.  Colossians 3:11

In Philemon, verse 16, Paul writes about Onesimus.

No longer as a slave, but. more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.  Philemon 16

Relationships will never be what they were meant to be unless all parties know Jesus.  The gospel is the foundation for reconciliation.

3.  Don't miss the providential workings of Almighty God.

In Philemon, verse 15, Paul writes about the separation between Philemon and Onesimus.

For perhaps it was for this reason that he was separated from you for a while, that you would have him back forever.  Philemon 15

God's plans are eternal, not temporal.

Finally, let's remember that in some way or another, we are all an Onesimus.

This post was written from my personal Bible study notes taken during my pastor's sermon.  You are invited to watch that sermon here:

You might also like:

Setting Relational Margins

Relational Margins, Reconciling Relationships
Setting Relational Margins

Reconciling Relationships Pin
Reconciling Relationships

Baby Shower Scrapbook Pages: Digital Download

Have you recently attended a baby shower?  Maybe the baby you are excited about is your own or a grandbaby?  Would you like to get those photos off of your phone or off of your computer and put them in a pretty scrapbook?  Since most of us use our phones for taking photos now, we don't print them out and put them in photo books like we did in the past.  I love our family photo books and my kids always loved them too.  They used to sit and flip through the pages for hours on end.  I haven't pulled those books out in a long time and I certainly have not added any new ones in a long time.  If you read my last post, then you know that I am making an effort to get over 4000 photos off of my phone and into scrapbooks for my family to enjoy for generations to come.  In the last few days, I have ordered hundreds of printed photographs and I have created 3 scrapbook packets.  You might have read about my Christmas Memories starter packet and the additional packet.  Today, I created a baby shower scrapbook packet.  Our first grandchild was born before Thanksgiving but just today, I went through all the photos on my phone and on my computer and ordered the prints.  I need a place to put them when they come in so I created several baby shower scrapbook pages.

Baby Shower Scrapbook Pages

Baby Shower Scrapbook Pages - Digital Download
Baby Shower Scrapbook Pages

My first baby shower scrapbook packet includes 11 pretty pages for mounting 15 4x6 horizontal photographs.  I will definitely be creating a lot more pages because I have many more photos than that coming my way soon.  I'll probably create several baby shower packets in the next few weeks.  This particular starter packet is for a baby girl shower but I'll add a baby boy shower packet soon. 

Some of these pre-made scrapbook pages have spaces for two photographs while other pages have a space for one photograph.  Every page in this baby shower photo packet has journaling space for documenting your sweet moments.  If your photos are smaller than 4x6, you can still use these pages.  The photo spaces are color coordinated with the page background colors so they will act as a "frame" for your smaller photos.  You can also use the photo spaces for extra journaling space if needed.

If you're interested in these pages, you can check them out here.  You will download the files to your computer and then print them out from your own home printer.  Once you add your own 4x6 horizontal baby shower photographs, I suggest placing them inside clear plastic sheet protectors like these:

Clear Sheet Protectors for Baby Shower Scrapbook Pages
Get your clear sheet protectors here.

After you place your completed scrapbook pages into the clear sheet protectors, you can place them into a 3 ring binder like these:

3 Ring Binders for Baby Shower Scrapbook Pages
Get your 3 ring binders for storing your scrapbook pages here.

Now you have all you need to start your beautiful baby girl baby shower photo book.  

Baby Shower Scrapbook Pages

Clear Sheet Protectors

3 Ring Binders

I hope you have lots of fun with these pages!  Come back soon for more!

You might also like:

Christmas Memories Scrapbook Pages

Christmas Memories Scrapbook Pages
Check out these Christmas Memories Scrapbook Pages

Christmas Scrapbook Pages
Check out these Christmas Scrapbook Pages here.

Baby Shower Scrapbook Pages Pin
Baby Shower Scrapbook Pages

Have you ordered my book yet?

Have you ordered my book yet?
Start reading!

Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway