With Christ’s Help, Change IS Possible [Devotional]

change is possible philemon devotional


. . .who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me (Philemon 1:11, NKJV).

One thing that I discovered as I prepared to write my book, Faith that Forgives is that the name, “Onesimus,” actually means, “Profitable.”

At one time, Onesimus was anything but profitable to Philemon. In fact, there’s every reason to believe that Onesimus not only skipped out on Philemon, he also stole from him. Not exactly an example of a profitable servant!
And yet Onesimus changed. He did a complete turnaround and went from unprofitable to profitable.

What I love about this is that as much of a scoundrel as Onesimus was, he wasn’t beyond hope. Neither are you. And neither is anyone else with whom you interact.

The fact that change is possible is such an important lesson for all of us because it’s so tempting to give up on people, and it’s so easy to feel like you have no hope of changing in your areas of weakness, particularly if you’ve unsuccessfully tried to change before. But through the example of Onesimus, it's obvious that it’s possible to not only make little changes but for a complete reversal to take place, even in the most unlikely of people.


Praying the Word

Lord, thank you that no one is beyond hope. Forgive me for my skepticism when it comes to my attitude toward others, and my doubts as to whether or not they will ever change. Help me to believe the best and hope for the best in both myself and others.


Applying the Word

Do you have relationships with anyone that seems beyond hope in a particular area? Do you tend to inwardly roll your eyes when a friend or family member states they are turning over a new leaf – for the 100th time? Or perhaps you’ve given up on being able to change in an area that you’ve struggled with for a long time.

Regardless of if the struggle happens in your own life or the life of others you know, drop the cynicism. Realize that there is hope for everyone. You can change, and so can the people with whom you interact. Encourage and support others in the changes they attempt to make, and give yourself permission to give it another go in an area that you once determined was beyond hope. If Onesimus could go from being unprofitable to profitable, there is hope for a radical change for you as well. I’m cheering for you! In fact, even though I don’t know you, I stopped and prayed for you as I wrote this, trusting that God will give you hope in an area that you feel is hopeless.


Faith that Forgives


This post is an excerpt from my book, “Faith that Forgives: Christian Devotional Readings from Philemon.”

Learn more about this book here.

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