10 I appeal to you to show kindness to my child, Onesimus. I became his father in the faith while here in prison.11 Onesimus[a] hasn’t been of much use to you in the past, but now he is very useful to both of us.12 I am sending him back to you, and with him comes my own heart.
13 I wanted to keep him here with me while I am in these chains for preaching the Good News, and he would have helped me on your behalf.14 But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent. I wanted you to help because you were willing, not because you were forced.15 It seems you lost Onesimus for a little while so that you could have him back forever.16 He is no longer like a slave to you. He is more than a slave, for he is a beloved brother, especially to me. Now he will mean much more to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.
17 So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.18 If he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to me.19 I, PAUL, WRITE THIS WITH MY OWN HAND: I WILL REPAY IT. AND I WON’T MENTION THAT YOU OWE ME YOUR VERY SOUL!
20 Yes, my brother, please do me this favor[b] for the Lord’s sake. Give me this encouragement in Christ.
21 I am confident as I write this letter that you will do what I ask and even more!
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