Romans 13:8-14 (Voice) 8 Don’t owe anyone anything, with the exception of love to one another—that is a debt which never ends—because the person who loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commands given to you in the Scriptures—do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not take what is not yours, do not covet—and any other command you have heard are summarized in God’s instruction: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Does love hurt anyone? Absolutely not. In fact, love achieves everything the law requires.
The first verse of the passage above has sometimes been used over the centuries to imply that Christians shouldn’t incur any kind of debt: mortgage, car loan, anything. I don’t think that is the message that Paul is sharing here.
Instead of this being a message about a prohibition against something, it is really about an exhortation to something: to put love of God and love of others above all. Love, that is the debt we all owe because of the free gift of love and grace we have been given by Jesus Christ.
The thing about debt is that most of us want to eliminate it as soon as possible. This is why right now, because of the historically low interest rates, many people are refinancing their mortgages. The sooner you can pay off a debt, the better.
But that is not the kind of debt this is. There is no maturity date on this loan, because what we have from Jesus hasn’t been borrowed, but freely given. And as followers of Jesus, that is how we are supposed to live – freely giving out all the love that we can to everyone we can.
Love does not hurt anyone, but when we live our lives out of love for God and love for others, the good that comes out of that love is exponential and profound. Debt never felt so good.
Sharing God’s Love,
Prayer:We can never repay the debt we owe you, Lord. Fill us with your love and guide us to freely share it with all. Amen.