Philemon 1:15 Perhaps?

Philemon 1:15 (KJV)
For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;

The Apostle Paul seems to choose his words very carefully.

He says, “perhaps” giving room for reconsideration.
I believe Paul was confident that God had used the departure of Onesimus for the furtherance of the Gospel. By employing the word “perhaps” he allows Philemon a window to dispute the position and thereby think about it and come to the mind of God. If Paul had been too forceful or dogmatic Philemon may have just stiffened up and not given the proposition place to settle in.

He says “departure” rather than to refer to Onesimus as a runaway.
Philemon would have been smarting over the loss of Onesimus. His absence would have caused financial loss. It would also have impacted his personal ego. Possession of a slave was a matter of social standing. To have lost one is indicative of irresponsible handling of the slave and might imply abuse (if the slave feels the need to escape).

Paul chose to soften the blow by labeling it a departure and then to reference the possibility of positive consequences.

Perhaps all our trials and difficulties would become softer and easier to rejoice in if we viewed them all as “perhaps used of God for eternal blessing.”

To my readers:
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Philemon 1:15 Perhaps?

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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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