13 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. 14 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. 15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— 16 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. Philemon 13-16
As Paul neared the end of his life, he was setting priorities for upcoming ministry. He was still training Onesimus and getting ready to set him free to help Philemon. He still referred to himself as a slave to Christ. And he was a willing slave at that. If Paul was going to be in bondage to something, he chose well by choosing Christ. We can certainly learn from Paul’s example. I believe our pride prevents us from wanting to be a slave to anything. We view it as a negative, whereas Paul viewed it as a positive.
Explore with me in your minds today about being a slave to Christ. What does it mean? What are the possibilities? What would it prevent you from doing? What would it allow you to do that you’re not already doing now?