“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” – Romans 13:8
I love that one. OK, that’s a bit of a “shocking” statement – a Christian who points to the Word of God and says “I love that.” Still, I love that one.
This is, to my mind, more than a call to financial freedom. It does not say “owe no one any money.” It says “owe no one anything.” Anything, that is, except to love each other, which is in and of itself a broad sweeping commitment. To love another person – truly love them – often involves quite a bit of giving of one’s self.
Still, the call to owe no man anything runs directly counter to the justifications given for any number of social programs in our society. Apparently those who work to produce goods and services owe something to those who are in need of help. (Make no mistake, they may well be in need of help – my concern is the debt owed to them by the other.)
Here we are, attempting to forge our way through this life and follow the will of our Lord, hoping to show kindness to all (see Luke 6:27-31), to do good (see Eph 2:10), to give freely to those in need (see Matt 10:8), and to owe no one anything (see Rom 13:8). Then, out of nowhere, we are told that we actually owe a debt to those in need. That we actually owe somebody else (perhaps who we’ve never met) a portion of our labor because they need it.
Again, just to be clear, we will (all of us) answer for ourselves and the kindness we’ve shown to others (see Matt 25). But that comes as a choice, not a compulsion.
The world may well be shocked at just how much the people of this country will give to those in need … if we only had it to give. Oh that someday this country would rise to the standard of leaving each one to choose to do good, to choose to follow the Lord, to choose compassion and benevolence – rather than to have it forced upon them by the government (and the “will” of the majority).
By the way, those in “need” now apparently need free cell phones, and are owed as much. Wow … just, wow. Take heart …
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Rom 8:38-39