As Paul thought about his buddy Philemon from Colosse, he found himself grinning. What was it about Philemon that brought Paul joy? It was Philemon’s love for others. The Greek word translated “love” (agape – “a-GAH-pay”) is an unconditional love that is demonstrated by action. It’s about making a choice to value another person and then doing something about it.
Philemon’s “love” was special to Paul because the hearts of those in Colosse were “refreshed” by him. The word translated “hearts” has to do with the seat of a person’s emotions. The word translated “refreshed” speaks of a person being allowed to pause from their labor and given a chance to recover and rest.
While we all have “needs”, there are some folks that are nothing but “needy”. Even when their life is going relatively well, they focus only on themselves and how they can get the attention of others. They are a drain on the emotions of others.
Philemon didn’t drain others, he refreshed them. He focused on encouraging others more than on his own needs. People were built up rather than depleted. Hanging out with Philemon was like being on an emotional “retreat”. May your love refresh those around you.