Stepmoms, Philemon and Forgiveness

Forgiveness. It's a tough topic! I think most Christians know the Bible calls us to forgive, to love. But can we just forgive the little things? Is there a limit to what God expects from us? Just ask a stepmom to forgive the hurts and messes. At some point we say, Lord it's too much! You don't understand, surely you don't expect me to forgive THIS! 

Have you read Philemon? It's only a page and a half in my Bible. Go check it out! I'll wait right here.          PHILEMON

Drinking some coffee, waiting....are you back?? 

This is a letter from Paul to Philemon. The entire letter is about forgiveness. It doesn't beat around the bush either! This is some strong language! Check out verse 19: I, PAUL, WRITE THIS WITH MY OWN HAND: I WILL REPAY IT. AND I WON’T MENTION THAT YOU OWE ME YOUR VERY SOUL!

Alright! Setting the tone! Paul is writing about Philemon's servant. The servant ran away and apparently was with Paul, where he became a Christian.   Philemon is asked to forgive the betrayal. 

Forgive the betrayal. Are we hitting close to home here, Stepmoms? I assume the situation of the runaway servant involved betrayal of trust, financial loss, accusations of why the servant left. I think a lot of those feelings and situations can apply to stepmom life. And yet, we see Paul say- Forgive. 

Verse 5 and 6: I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people. And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. Verse 8 and 9: That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you. I could demand it in the name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do. But because of our love, I prefer simply to ask you. 

Wow. There's really no getting around that. And yes, I can hear you saying, "But Emily this is too big!" I know. But read it again and you tell me! I think it's pretty clear what a Christian Stepmom is called to do.  I don't see it written anywhere that it will be easy. Actually, I think the fact Paul needed to write such a strong letter lets us know -forgiveness is hard. Forgiveness is necessary. 

How do we forgive? Slow grace. We pray and give it to God over and over and over again. He smooths it with grace until we are healed. 

Poor Philemon, I bet this was a hard letter to receive! It's hard to read even now. But you know what, I bet he forgave. How could he refuse?! How can we? 





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