“Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you – I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus” (Philemon 1:8-9)
In our day of both political freedoms and contrasting superiors in authority keeping us under fear of retaliation, we forget that there are levels and chains of command You have ordained. It is not that everyone who so desires can tell another what to do, but there are those who can and should. It is this way in the church too. There are leaders whom the Lord has appointed by whatever means and we are to honor that. But also, we are equals, one to the other.
Lord, I do understand this. A parent to a child: there is equality when they are adults, and yet, the child is always the child. Help me to apply this principle so that I would now and always hold to the truth You are teaching me. Help me when I am in a position of inferiority to honor the one above and when in a position of superiority to honor the one below so that in either case I love and respect all others.
Lord Jesus, You are God in the flesh. Guide me in Your goodness to follow Your example and see that in You alone I can learn how to behave as You would have me behave. You are God in the flesh, yet You bid us come and learn to be a friend. Teach me the proper and honorable balance I need in order to live this relationship in a godly way. Thank You, Lord, for the patience and grace I need to do this. Amen.