Philemon: Forgive

Forgiving someone who isn’t sorry may be the hardest thing we’re asked to do as Christians. The oppressor who has no remorse, cannot admit he was wrong, has no intention of making it up to you…it’s hard to let it go.

If a friend owes you an apology, you may wait an eternity, and friends may become enemies. You wait an eternity for what you feel is your due, an eternity filled with bitterness, resentment, and vengefulness. You hold yourself prisoner because of someone else’s actions. You hold out for those two words which may never come… “I’m sorry”.

Paul offered to take on the debt Onesimus owed Philemon.

So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. -Philemon 1:17-18 (NIV)

Much like Paul wanted to release Philemon from an eternity of bitterness, resentment, and vengefulness, Jesus wants to release us. Like Paul, He is offering to take the debt of our oppressors. We need not stay in bondage, waiting for the apology we think we are owed. We can release it to Him.

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. -Mark 2:17 (NIV)


  • Is there someone in your life who you feel owes you an apology? Charge it to Jesus, and release yourself from the bondage of oppression and waiting.
  • Do you owe someone an apology? Think of it as a confession; apologize to your friend, then take it to Jesus.