In these passages, Paul writes to Philemon, a brother in Jesus Christ. Philemon’s slave, Onesimus, who had run away from Philemon, was converted to Christianity by Paul. Paul was sending Onesimus back to Philemon and appealing to Philemon not to punish Onesimus. Paul asked Philemon to receive him back as not only a slave but as a brother in Jesus Christ.
Slavery was common in Paul’s day, and Paul’s message to slave owners was to treat their slaves with compassion. His instruction to the slaves was to serve their masters with loyalty and with diligence. If they became believers, they were not to take advantage of their newfound relationship as brothers in Jesus. They were still to be hard workers for their masters.
The Bible does not promote laziness. The Bible says that whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord. We are called to do our tasks completely and effectively as though our work is pleasing to the Lord.
The Bible says that we should work with our hands. We shouldn’t just sit at a computer all day. I have found that doing projects and working with my hands brings satisfaction as I see a project completed. Our hands are very important parts of our bodies, and a large portion of our brain is dedicated to our hands. Therefore we should use them constructively each and every day, doing our projects with diligence as unto the Lord. It will result in great satisfaction in our lives.