“Give everyone what you owe him: if you owe taxes, pay taxes, if revenue, then revenue, if respect, then respect, if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:7)
Wouldn’t it be splendid if we could all live debt free? It’s been said that the average household splits its debt among seven to ten credit cards and loans. It’s natural for many of us to convince ourselves that we have worked hard, and our rate of spending is normal; we deserve more and we can’t live without more! But for most of us, the burden of owing weighs heavy on us; it can put stress in our relationships, our attitudes, our jobs, and even our health. As believers, we should be as free from the burden of debt as possible; we are encouraged to live respectfully and worthily, fulfilling all laws, obligations and requirements. The journey of debt-free living is all about being a good steward of money, and involves commitment, determination, and self-control. There is however, one debt that we are obligated to…
…The only debt we should have is to love one another…
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)
A person who is motivated by love will fulfill the law, because love is bigger, broader, larger, deeper, and richer than the law! We can fulfill the commands of the bible better by falling in love with God; when we love Him, our obedience to Him will flow out of that relationship. One debt we can never finish paying is the debt of love that we owe; it is the debt that cost God the life of His only begotten Son. Because we have been loved with an infinite love, we will never be able to repay or complete our obligation to love. In the same way, we are indebted to extend love, grace and mercy to each other. The only real value in anything at all is love! We can follow all the rules and the laws, but they can’t be done without love.
“Whatever commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:9-10)
“Love your neighbor as yourself”… who is our neighbor and how do we love them? Our neighbor is more than just the guy next door; they are people in our communities, people we pass on the streets and in the hallways, they are even our enemies. When we love God with all our heart, we realize that everyone is part of His creation and we are indebted to love them. This love equips and enables us to love our neighbors in a genuine and sincere way, even those we are tempted not to love. When we have Christ’s life in us, we have the power to love even those who are hard to love. Whatever the situation demands it is a debt we owe to every person, every day. Every day holds an opportunity for us to pay this debt of love to someone who needs it, and those who are fortunate enough to owe this never ending debt will find it to be their greatest liability and dearest treasure!
“Love is as hard as nails. Love is nails…driven through hands and feet.” C.W. Lewis
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