Pandemic Perspective – Part 58 The Debt of Love – Part 1
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
What should be a Christian’s attitude toward others? Romans 13:8 says it should be Love. The initial statement is a continuation of the responsibility of Christians to pay their debts. Our debts show up regularly in the form of bill, you pay them, but like weeds, they just keep coming back. There is the electric, gas and water bill, the fuel bill, mortgage payments, insurance bills, credit card bills, car payments, on and on. When we don’t pay our bills the mountain of debt piles up and we can get buried, not knowing which ones to pay first. The issue of handling money is more than a financial issue it is a spiritual and moral one because its use or misuse affects others. Paul tells us that we must do what we can to be out of debt but there is one debt which will always remain due. It is a debt we can never pay off, our obligation to love others, it is a debt that will owe until the day we die. While we live, we get to pay this debt as often as possible, as much as possible, and to as many as possible. Paul calls us to live within our means without being mean by reminding us of the:
- Debt of Love
When you look at your bills it is a reminder of what you owe and Paul reminds us that we owe love, it is our primary debt. There is something in every one of us that wants to diminish this requirement either by saying I have done enough or by limiting who we do it for. Yet Jesus taught in Luke 10:25-37 that our neighbor includes anyone we meet that has a need they are not capable of handling. When the expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus told him the story of the good Samaritan. Then Jesus asked him, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” And Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” So, there is no limit to who we should love and on the amount we love we can never say “I have loved enough”. With love we will never get to the point where we have sacrificed enough, given enough of our time, energy, money, and efforts, been kind enough or even patient enough. No matter how loving we may have been in the past, we’re still indebted to love. We can never repay the love Christ showed us on the cross of Calvary but we can love in all of our relationships.