Daily D – Romans 13:8
Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. ROMANS 13:8 (NLT)
My bride’s credit score is a few points higher than mine. I am not sure how this happened. It may have something to do with the fact that she takes care of the household finances. This means she surely manipulates things to ensure a higher credit score for herself, don’t you think?
The good news is that each of our scores is excellent. If she can be blamed for my lower credit score, she can most certainly take credit for our overall scores through her diligent management of our income, expenses, and investments over our thirty-five years of marriage. If I were running the financial show around here, it might be from jail. Not because I would do anything wrong, I simply do not care about all those little details she does. I am glad she does.
One big reason credit scores go up or down is how much debt a person has compared to how much credit they have available. Again, my bride manages this quite well. We only have a couple of debts to pay on. One of those is our home. She will pay off that loan not long before we retire. Again, if I were running this financial show, things would not look as rosy. I happily stay out of her way. She can even manipulate our credit scores so that hers is higher. That does not bother me at all, as you can tell.
There is one debt we never pay off. This verse tells us what it is. The NIV translates it this way: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except for the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” Notice the words “continuing debt to love one another.” We have an obligation, a continuing debt to do what is right, just, fair, and compassionate for everyone in our lives.
This kind of love is characterized more by initiative and response than by warm feelings. We take action to provide and care for others within our realms of activity. We may not always feel like taking action, but we understand our responsibility and our resources. We do what we can with what we have. We marshal the involvement of others as necessary. Leading and serving in love frequently creates warm feelings that were absent at the beginning.
This kind of love requires outside eyes. Paul explains what I mean in Phil. 2:4 where he says, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Take care of your family and yourself. Take care of others with the resources at your disposal.
Remember, this is a continuing debt. You and I will never run out of opportunities to serve others in love. This is how we build better communities and a better world.
I will serve others in love.
Our Father, you have blessed me to bless others. Make me a blessing. As you have enriched my life in so many ways, empower me to enrich the lives of others with the good things you have placed in my hands. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”