Here are two men of the New Testament with similar names yet quite different. These are Philemon, to whom an epistle is addressed, and Philetus (2 Ti, 2:17). Both names start with the prefix phil, a Greek root of the word to love (philein). So, Philemon means loving while Philetus means lovable. The first is a giver of love the other a receiver. The Word of God does not recall anything reprehensible from the conduct of Philemon while for Philetus it is quite different. And what is the lesson for us?… We are encouraged to be full of love one for another, to all be Philemons. But at the same time let us be on guard against the natural amiability (lovableness) of those like Philetus who err from the truth (2 Ti. 2 :18). As lovable as one could be, we must keep away from such a one that would lead us away from the truth!
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Last update 2006/04/26