One result of placing our faith and trust in Jesus—enjoying this new relationship with God—is that we’re now to pursue healthy relationships with others. A reconciled relationship with God should, to the degree possible, result in reconciled relationships with others. It’s one of the things we see as Onesimus returns to Philemon.
Part of Onesimus’ new purpose is his understanding that he needs to return to his owner. He’s run away, possibly stolen something, and needs to make it right. His relationship with Philemon is broken and he knows he needs to do all he can to restore it.
A big part of Onesimus moving from “useless” to “useful” is doing what he can to make himself “useful” again to Philemon. Because following Jesus seriously embraces the reality that Jesus calls us to pursue healthy relationships, Onesimus gets on the boat and heads home.
Healthy relationships may require reconciliation (it’s broken and needs to be fixed), attention (something’s been ignored for too long), or a commitment to boundaries (too far and too fast for too long). Today, as you welcome God into your day, focus on one relationship that needs one of these three. As you commit to pursuing this healthy relationship, ask God for the strength and courage to do all you can do to achieve restoration.