“That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you. I could demand it in the name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do. But because of our love, I prefer simply to ask you. Consider this as a request from me—Paul, an old man and now also a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus” (Philemon 1.8-9 NLT).
Studies show that when we ask for something instead of demanding it, people are more likely to give us our request. Paul could have demanded that Philemon obey his request based on the fact that he was a Christian leader and the request was the right thing to do. However, people have an inner defense mechanism that causes them to resist people who try to command them and force their obedience. Even if it was the right thing to do, Philemon might have denied the request simply based on how Paul presented it. The right idea can be enacted in the wrong way, causing a negative outcome. Instead of appealing to someone’s sense of right and wrong with a critical tone, it is better to use love. It especially important to not always demand from people whom we have authority over, like our children, employees, students, etc. We need to resist the urge to simply demand obedience just because we can. Instead, we can make our request known in love and empower those around us to make the right decision for themselves.
“And do everything with love” (1 Corinthians 16.14 NLT).