The One Thing We Owe Everyone

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, November 7, 2015 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

This past week I had some great conversations with close friends about how to handle people in our lives. Whether it’s our own children, our parents, co-workers, clients, or patients, there was a consistent theme - responding with love and not being captive to expectations.

Read Romans 13:8-10: "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law… whatever other command[s] there may be, are summed up in this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."

The initial point of this passage is clear: any debt we have with another should be settled immediately. We should live free from having others waiting on us to repay a loan or a favor. No one should be waiting on us to pay a debt, not even a debt of gratitude or an expression of our love. We should actively be resolving what we owe others and proactively seeking to give to the one debt we owe everyone, love.

Have you ever felt the weight of other's expectations so heavily that it made it hard for you to make the best decision? Have you ever felt like no matter how much more you give, it's never appreciated? Have you ever felt paralyzed because no matter what you do, someone is going to be upset with you?

Living by what others expect is a "no win" situation. Emotionally, we are always caught in somebody's net, and we end up exhausting ourselves trying to please everyone. These are FALSE debts. They are not a reflection of what is good, and sometimes are not even a reflection of what is real. They will drive us to an unhealthy, and unholy, place where we end up trying to be everyone's savior and everyone's favorite person. False debts should never be "paid," because the only way to pay them is to play god.

The only debt that should be between us and another person is the debt to love. I can love someone and not agree with them. I can love someone and let them be mad at me, because I did what was best instead of what they wanted. I can love someone and still not ignore their sin or rebellion. I can love someone and still offer correction or discipline in their life. I can love someone and forgive their angry yelling over their broken expectations. I can love someone and let them wander farther into a dangerous place, because they were not ready to deal with the deeper issue that is hurting them. I can continue to love someone who rejects my Lord Jesus Christ, because He patiently loved me when I still rejected Him.

So, maybe we get the initial point of this passage, but let's also remember to avoid fulfilling false debts, because that is NOT love, it's patronizing.

The only debt we owe to anyone is our love: expressing God's love through us. If the only thing you owe your family, friends, co-workers, enemies, etc. is love, how will you love them differently?

May you satisfy any outstanding debts you do owe, and may you be free from the false debts created from expectations and insecurity. May you find freedom in relentlessly loving others, the way God loves all of us.

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