A cartoon shows a mature couple, seated in the living room, reading the paper. She thinks, without speaking, “We’ve been married so long, we know what each other thinks.” And he thinks, without speaking, in reply, “That’s not true!” Nobody knows what another thinks or needs unless he speaks.
Yes, brother, let me have some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.
Philemon 20 NET
Paul asks something concrete of Philemon. He wants his friend to send the slave Onesimus to serve together with him, after being converted to Christ. For Paul, the man became worthy of the meaning of his name, “useful.”
The apostle expected a positive reply, so much so that he did not require it of him, but asked of him this benefit. He wrote the letter with this purpose in mind.
In the same way, he asked and hoped for, on the part of the Romans and Corinthians, a spiritual and material benefit.
What’s the lesson? As Jesus taught, he who asks, receives (Matthew 7:7-8).
And we, thinking that others ought to pick up on our need without our speaking, refrain from asking. What nonsense!