Philemon 1:2 …and to the church in your house
What Philemon doesn’t know is that he is about to hear a personal letter written to him in front of his family and his friends; he is going to hear Paul address him on this issue he has with Onesimus. Paul wanted Timothy to read this letter essentially to Philemon, but certainly can and will be used to instruct us all on forgiveness, in front of others so that Philemon would be held accountable. Accountability is a wonderful thing; it, when nothing else will do, can make us willing to do the right thing. It will at least force us to acknowledge that we are choosing to disobey. Philemon may not have wanted to forgive Onesimus of his behavior but he knew that if he didn’t everyone else would know it too. In some degree accountability makes our obedience to God’s will easier, it makes us more aware of our choices if others are watching us closely. Yet, it is hard to give someone else that sort of power over us; to surrender the choice to disobey. But do we really have a choice to disobey, if we really want to bring glory to God? Well, we certainly have that choice that’s what free will is all about, but should we take it I guess is more the question. Maybe, we should seek accountability more often so like Philemon, we would have the world watching our choice.