Philemon 14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.
Paul wanted Philemon to forgive Onesimus. Paul believed that if Philemon would forgive Onesimus that it would telegraph a great message to other Christians and to the lost world. It would teach great spiritual truths.
Not only would it be a blessing and benefit to others but it would bless and benefit Philemon as well.
Paul would not force Philemon into this great step of grace. He would only motivate and encourage him to do so. He wanted Philemon to enjoy what God would do because he would take the step willingly and intentionally.
I know that when we learn to forgive we send a great message to the world. We tell them how great our God is. We tell them what a work God is doing in our own lives. We see and understand the forgiveness God has given us.
The question today is what is God motivating me to do that will greatly benefit me? I am sure that the human side of Philemon could see how forgiving Onesimus would benefit Onesimus but not himself. But God was at work showing all of us that as we obey we are the ones that get the real benefit!