Provoked to Virtue by a Good Example
Philemon 1:20
Yes, brother, let me have joy of you in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.

Let me have profit of thee. There is here a play on the slave's name, and the words are equivalent to, "Be thou to me an Onesimus." He would extinguish the rising feeling of conscious merit and of boasting Philemon might entertain in compliance, and reminds him that by such compliance he would still be less helpful to him than had been Onesimus. He had Paul's messenger, servant, fellow worshipper, and friend, and all he would have Philemon do was so to act as not to allow one of so despised a class to surpass him in generosity. It is good for men that are provoked to emulation by the Christian virtues of those around them. Their presence slays pride and inflames zeal, and invites to effort and to prayer, and makes it matter for shame even should slender abilities and advantages cast superior endowments into shade, should a Philemon be surpassed in Christian feeling and usefulness by an Onesimus.

(R. Nisbet, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.

WEB: Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in the Lord.

Christ the True Sphere of Action
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