8 Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do,9 yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus—10 that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus,[a] who became my son while I was in chains.11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
12 I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you.13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel.14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary.15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever—16 no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.
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