Friday, June 3, 2016

Does the Bible say When is debt OK?

Our culture, lifestyle and modern economies seem to all justify debt. Not only to justify it but to make it a foundational value- even a virtue. If monetary debt is a lifestyle and approach to handling money what is to keep it from becoming a standard for other attitudes too?

"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.." Romans 13:8.

LET...
This Bible verse starts out with a word that speaks of choice. To let is to choose to allow something. In a sense, this makes the verse a command of the Holy Scriptures.

LET NO...
There is more than one kind of debt. Most people focus on financial debt but before God, and in our society we have many debts. They include...

The debt to thankfulness.
The debt to service.
The debt to those who make our world better.
The debt to those who sacrifice for our good.
The debt to parents and teachers.
The debt to faithful family and friends.

Each of us could add many debts that we owe to so many others.

LET NO DEBT REMAIN OUTSTANDING...
We must be people who pay all our debts not only the financial, but practical, social and any other debts we are obligated to.

Consider what a difference it would make to the world if everyone had the attitude that they would not be indebted to anyone else?  What if every kindness and act of grace or mercy was repaid without consideration of cost?

EXCEPT THE ONGOING DEBT TO LOVE
Some may counter that this attitude of paying off every act of indebtedness or replying to every kindness with a kind and gracious response could lead to a legalistic view of life and may sound too much like eastern religious philosophy. The concluding words of the verse gives the balance that we must love others beyond the measure of any ability to repay. Paul the Apostle and author of the verse points out that love fulfills all the commands of God and man. Love overpowers debt.

Whatever our debts we should pay them back in full measure and in love. We should be people who give back in excess of our receipts.

And we should love beyond any measure of others to pay back.

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