So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. (Philemon 17–20)
Over the course of this year there has been quite some controversy over church closures. Should a church be put into the same category as a cinema, or bowling alley? Is it entertainment, or does it sit in a class of its own? Lawsuits were filed in the United States, and petitions were signed in this country. In short: how important is worship?
These debates haven’t come out of nowhere. Across the globe there have been court cases which have arisen out of a clash of cultures. Christians, in good conscience, cannot do something and so are taken to court. How important is faith? Should your faith inform your actions as you go about your business, or should it be kept at home? These arguments will no doubt continue.
As Paul writes to Philemon he reminds him that he owed him “even your own self”. Why? Because Paul would have brought him to faith, he was the instrument God used to declare the Gospel to Philemon.
How important is faith? It is worth everything. Even “your own self”.