Every dictator that has lived has desired to be feared and worshipped as if God; surprising God does not do that.
I find it amazing that the God who made all things, including you and me, does not simply force us to worship Him, but has given us freedom to live this life apart from God and eternally apart from God or in Grace in Jesus has made us alive and able to be with God both now and eternally and even that is not forced upon us.
Instead, God urges us with the Gospel and with love and grace to be in the places and in the relationships that lead to everlasting life through Jesus, but does not force you and will allow you to stray away eternally.
Pastor Paul’s words today from Philemon vs. 8 is the same thing, urging a Christian to do what is right.
Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I to appeal to you
The same is said for those that reach out to you with the love of Jesus.
Though we are bold enough in Christ to say what is required, we don’t push, instead we appeal to you and with you for the sake of love. Our love for you and God’s love for you in Jesus.
Simply, like we tell our children, don’t learn the hard way, learn from our mistakes and make better choices. We can’t force our kids but we can appeal to them out of our love for them. Same for each of us, we can’t force anyone to do what is right, be we can appeal to them out of our love for each other.