Sunday, December 10, 2017

Like-Minded Companionship

Companionship is not limited to a tangible company. By this, I specifically mean, company that can be touched physically. The thoughts we meditate on, the books we read, the social media exposure, the television shows we watch are all different ways we can choose to keep company with something or someone. As we read through Paul’s epistle to Philemon, one thing is very obvious; Paul and Philemon were not in the same location, however, thoughts of Philemon kept running through the mind of Paul as he penned this epistle to Philemon.

Paul refers to Philemon as …my good friend and companion in this work (Philemon 1:1a MSG). When we refer to like-minded companionship, we simply mean keeping company with someone who has similar goals and interests as you. This is very obvious in Paul’s statement… my good friend and companion in this work (Philemon 1:1a MSG). By implication, they were together for a reason – they worked together and in this case, for kingdom purposes. One of Paul’s responsibilities was to plant churches and one of the churches planted was in Philemon’s house (…and to the church in your house (Philemon 1:2b (NKJV)).

By implication, it was not idle companionship. The goals were clear, there was a vision and possibly a mission. When they met, they had a platform for communication. I believe it was almost unlikely for Paul and Philemon to have a conversation and not mention the well-being of the church in terms of problem-solving, goal setting and how to make changes in order to benefit the church, etc.

There are great benefits in like-minded companionship because the returns are even greater. Purposefully keep company with like-minded people. The question that may arise is this, if indeed I am a brother’s keeper, should I not care about the well-being of my brethren who are perishing? Yes, indeed you should care and there are skillful approaches you can all use to make that companionship beneficial to both of you. Relate with knowledge and by so doing, you will know which skill should be implemented.

There are many, and I will mention a few as seen in the book of Jude 1:22-23 (NIV)
Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear-hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

It was on the basis of Christlike mindedness that Paul was calling on Philemon to accept Onesimus. Amen!

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