Day 118: A Glorious Debt

Romans 13:8

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

God isn’t against debt, but it does matter what kind of debt you have. In fact, there is only one kind of debt that God wants Christians to have. When I meditate on this truth, God helps me to realize that to have a debt of any kind other than love is to lose my freedom. Freedom is a core value in Christianity and to willingly owe something to someone else is to willingly become a slave to them. A slave acts much differently than a free man, because a slave is obligated to labor for someone else. Christian service is not an obligation but a willing act of the heart; and this act we call love.

All other debts but love actually replace love by putting the would-be lover under obligation. The lover can no longer choose to pay. Now they have to pay. There’s another fascinating thing about this. When love becomes debt, not only are you free, you stop sinning. Interesting, isn’t it?

Love is willingly doing good to another as described in 1 Corinthians 13. This is the “basic rule” of God’s Law. A person who loves gets to do what they want because what they want lines up with what God wants. Freedom is not a way to selfishness, it’s a way to love. Selfishness usually ends in debts of something other than love. Love is the freedom that the Bible talks about. Only a heart that has been changed by God can have this kind of freedom because only then are we able to love as we should.