Beyond the Call of Duty

George M. Coon

READ : Philemon 17-25

Confident of your obedience, I am writing to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. (v. 21)

Recently I asked my children, as I do on a daily basis, to clean up their bedroom before bedtime. Expecting to have to tell them repeatedly, imagine my surprise when I went upstairs to find that they had cleaned their room, their baby sister’s room, and my office as well! After I recovered from the initial shock, I told them how happy they made daddy feel because they did more than expected.

Paul was confident that Philemon would show his Christian character and forgive Onesimus, welcoming him back into the household. He trusted Philemon beyond that, however. Paul even anticipated that Philemon would exceed his expectations and do more than asked. Paul showed tremendous confidence in Philemon by anticipating that he would go beyond the call of duty.

People all around us have expectations for our lives; and, for the most part, we please them by meeting those expectations. Yet think of how we can please our heavenly Father if we exceed the expectations of others and enact his perfect will in our lives. We do this when we reflect the heart of God in our actions.


Lord, help me to not be satisfied with merely meeting expectations. Help me, by your grace, to excel in living for you.