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— Philemon 1:8–9 During the Reformation, when Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli were exchanging strong words about Biblical interpretations and ecclesiastical practices, Zwingli spent a troubled morning walking the mountain trails of his beloved Switzerland.
From a distance he observed two goats making their way toward each other on a path barely stitched to the side of a cliff.
We need to keep relationships personal and issues impersonal as we build faithfulness with one another. But the ways in which we work through them can bind us more tightly together in love.
Paul’s kindness to Philemon offers a very good example to follow.
Fast forward several years later, and we realized that the distance in our relationship was caused because we weren’t connecting spiritually.
In a surprise twist, however, one goat suddenly collapsed onto the narrow ledge so the other goat could walk over its back. The same principle is evident in Paul’s words to Philemon.
Philemon’s slave Onesimus had run away, met Paul in Rome and become a Christian.
Personally, I find that when I don’t do this, don’t love my husband more than God? When I’m not satisfied in God, that dissatisfaction tends to suck in my husband (and the rest of my world) like a black hole.
My “affections” can be motivated by my own gaping holes. Before seeking validation from your spouse or elsewhere, take time to tell yourself the truth, and let it settle into your soul.It was obvious that these nimble creatures could not pass one another. It allowed two opponents to survive a crisis so both could get on with more important things.