As a nation we are facing tremendous economic struggles. This is true for some of the largest, well-known, long-established industries, for mid-size corporations and for the small, family-owned businesses. As well, many individuals are dealing with the far-reaching consquences of carrying excessive personal debt. Often this debt resulted from poor planning and unwise decisions. Other times this debt resulted from no fault of their own–when emergency circumstances suddenly hit their home (flood, fire, etc), their health or their financial safe-guards (employment, benefits, saving funds). Either way, this debt can be a crushing and humiliating experience.
God cares so much about all the details of our lives–including our financial debt. Yet, there is one debt that God desires us to keep as outstanding and carry it indefinitely: the debt of loving others.
This is the one account that we must never consider as paid in full.
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another… Romans 13:8
Personal Reflections from Sylane: I have to admit that I am ridiculously obsessive when it comes to balancing our check book and making sure that every bill is paid on time and entered correctly. I am a maniac in keeping my records and our bank records absolutely in agreement, perfectly accounted for and always in balance. I have spent hours finding out why there is a difference, even as small as 3 cents, between my check book and the bank records. (BTW the bank has always been right. But! My math struggles will have to be dealt with another time.)
It really is wise to be careful with our finances–to know what we have and how it is being spent. However, I do blame some of my overly obsessive tendencies to growing up as a trailer-girl with four other siblings and not a lot of extra liquid cash flowing freely around us. My baby-sitting money (which started at 50 cents/hour) had to be stretched pretty far.
So, I am very serious about not building or carrying debt–and this is partly a reaction to once being relatively poor, with very limited resources.
However, as believers we are ambassadors of Christ, and in Him we have been given endless, over-flowing resources to “pay towards” this debt of love into the lives of others. Our God is LOVE. And God knows that the need for His children to love others–actively, constantly, practically, sincerely, sacrificially, humbly–will always be a reality on this side of Heaven.
The Word of God clearly tells us that when it comes to LOVING ONE ANOTHER, we must consider this as the one debt that will always remain outstanding. The records of our loving acts will never be balanced with the need for love in this world and in the lives of others.
Praise be to God who gives us His limitless resource of Love–God’s very Character and Power–to flow from us so that we may love on others–in practical and spiritual, temporal and eternal ways.
God has given us His Outstanding Love, as our perfect resource, as we carry our outstanding debt to love one another…all the days of our lives.
In love, peace and purposeful passion, Sylane