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Romans 13:8: Owe No One Anything, Except To Love Each Other

Romans 13:8
[8] Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. (ESV)

As of the writing of this devotional the average American home has approximately $135,000 of debt. That is a lot of people owing a lot of money. As it relates to the life of the believer in Jesus Christ we are instructed to make sure that we pay our bills. I do not believe that Paul is saying that we are not allowed to have debt, but we are instructed to be sure to pay it back.

There is one debt that we will never be able to fully pay. That debt that we will never be able to fully pay is our debt of love for each other. When we hear of this debt of love that we owe to one another it is easy for us to ask the question, "Who am I required to love?" The answer is, everyone. We are to love the ones who love us and the ones who hate us. Christian or non-Christian. Everyone.

For the Jews who read these words of instruction from the Apostle Paul I am sure that they must have been challenged by these words. The Pharisees would teach the people that they could hate those who hated them. The command to love here was counter-cultural then. It remains counter-cultural in our day. We do not like to love those who hate us. But that is the way Christ loved us.

Jesus himself fulfilled the Law that none of us could fulfill. He loved perfectly. He looked at those who had rebelled against his Law, falsely accused him, and even sentenced him to death. What was his response? He loved them and offered them the right to become children of God. When we love as Christ loves we show that we understand the true heart of God's Law.

What do you owe? Money? Taxes? Pay what you owe. More importantly, love others like Christ loved you. You will never get rid of that debt, but you will honor Christ by your efforts.