“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.” (Philemon 1:4-7)
These are words of the Apostle Paul commending the faith of a man named Philemon – faith that was demonstrated by his love and generosity. People easily recognized Christ in him, and they were refreshed. The weariness of the day, the fatigues of life were shaken off, and they were refreshed in their hearts – by what they saw in Philemon.
There is a song written by Scotty Willbanks, and the chorus goes like this:
Let them see You in me
Let them hear You when I speak
Let them feel You when I sing
Let them see You, let them see You in me
So the question I ask myself: Are people refreshed in their hearts by what they see in me? Do they see Christ in the way I live my life? Perhaps I am not alone in being challenged by the example set by Philemon so many centuries ago.
What people saw in his life, what they heard him speak; the way he acted and reacted refreshed their hearts. They witnessed authentic faith being lived out in genuine love, kindness, and generosity. And it was refreshing – and faith strengthening!
And what was true for people centuries ago remains true for people today.
If our faith in Christ shows up by the good things we do, by the words we speak, by the love and kindness we extend to others – if they genuinely see the Christ in us – their hearts, too, will be refreshed!