In the economical realm, being in debt spurs a myriad of thoughts, perceptions, fears, and frustrations. Essentially, no one “desires” to be in debt. However, over the course of time, it may become inevitable that there will be some form of debt in your life. The response of a person towards there debt will vary, and can either lead to the debt being paid, or an ongoing lingering debt.
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law (Romans 13:8)”
Paul shares with the people of Rome, that while we are not to have outstanding debt in other areas of our lives, continuing to have the debt of loving one another is significant. It is with this ongoing debt that we experience the need to do all we can in loving others. This of course, though, is not an easy task.
“Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10)”
Regarding following the law and the commandments, to love one another fulfills the law, because in loving one another, the desires to hurt or harm our neighbor are removed. Since a majority of the Ten Commandments speak about not committing acts which would harm our neighbor in any way, when we show love, the law has been completely fulfilled.
“The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light (Romans 13:12)”
The deeds which bring harm to our neighbor contribute to the darkness within our current world setting. Paul is encouraging the Romans that it is time to put aside those deeds which bring about darkness in any form and instead put on the armor of light. When we seek to love our neighbor, the darkness which once surrounded us and distanced us from our neighbor can be lifted. We then can experience the fullness God desires.
In loving our neighbor, while it may be expressed in the form of a debt, it is not meant to be some form of a measuring guide. We will never fully repay all the love we should be expressing to our neighbor or to God. The good news is that we have been forgiven. No longer does God hold against us this debt. We are free to live in response to this gift of grace. May we see the opportunity to love our neighbor as truly a blessing. We may not always do it perfectly, and we may at times display some distance. However, may we not give up in striving towards loving our neighbor every day, for God continues to express love towards us in all circumstances.
“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh (Romans 13:14)”