Successful Negotiation of Difficult Requests

Philemon 1:19

I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.


Paul’s letter to Philemon has a pretty major subject. Perhaps we do appreciate the weight of it. He is pleading, essentially, for a man’s life. More importantly, he is pleading for spiritual victory in Philemon. He is doing so having already acted on the assumption that Philemon will respond as Paul requests. In making his plea Paul employs several triggers to lead Philemon to the appropriate response:

He mentions Apphia

She is presumed to be his wife. By mentioning her name he both assigns this letter to her as well as Philemon, and places part of the responsibility for his request upon her. Perhaps the feminine element will move Philemon to a more gentle response.


He reminds Philemon that he could expect his submissive response

But then chooses rather to ask than to demand. Whenever an authority is able to enlist the voluntary compliance to his leadership he is much better off than if he forces the mandatory one.


He submits himself to Philemon

There is a sense in which we are all to be submitted one to another. Those in authority are as equally accountable to those they lead as those they lead are to them. The soldier who is about to give his life on the field of battle does so expecting that his commanding officers will not waste his sacrifice. Paul recognizes this and submits to the authority of Philemon.


He makes Philemon his comrade and partner in the ministry

By appealing to Philemon as a partner he gives him fruit in the blessing of souls saved, including that of Onesimus.


He reminds Philemon of his part in Philemon’s salvation

Paul considered himself a debtor to all men to preach to them the gospel but in many respects those he lead to Christ were indebted to him. That he would ask this of him was reasonable.


He referred to Philemon as “brother” 

By doing so he invoked the bonds of family and blood. Men will do many things for family that they will not do for anyone else..


See in these tools of Paul clues for successful negotiations in difficult requests.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Philemon 1:19 Successful Negotiation

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Author: marvinmck

Marvin McKenzie was born in the Pacific Northwest and became a Christian at the age of eighteen. He has been in the Baptist ministry for thirty years and has planted and pastored churches in Washington and Oregon. Besides his pastoral ministry, Marvin has been actively involved in training men for the Baptist ministry. He has conducted local church Bible Institutes in those churches he has pastored, from which a number of men have entered the ministry. Marvin also served as: Vice President of the Western States Baptist Bible Fellowship, The Board of Directors of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA, Dean of men at Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, Executive Vice President of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA and Executive Vice President of Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City, OK. Marvin is married to Anita. They have two sons, Bohannan and Caleb. Both are Baptist pastors in Washington State. Marvin enjoys camping, fishing and horses.

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