Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 20, 2017
By Tripp Prince
Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8
Consumer debt is a significant problem that threatens our economic system year by year. Whether it’s student loans, maxed out credit cards, or mortgages that we can’t afford, we as a society have overreached our financial limits in countless ways. As such, there are entire industries built around offering debt relief and counsel on how to, as we say, “find financial freedom.”
To be financially free is to be financially autonomous, owing nothing to anyone. Quite literally, it is the ending of a relationship. When you pay off your car loan or your student debt, you are more than happy to free yourself from a relationship with that institution! While financial freedom may be wise and healthy, St. Paul reminds us today that relational freedom is devastating to the heart and soul.
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:14).
Genuine love binds us together with our friends, families, and neighbors, and this relational debt can never be repaid. To exhaust the debt of love is to end a relationship, to cease to live for the good of others and simply concern yourself with your own personal needs, wants, and desires. In many ways, this is the root of all sin. In the garden, Adam chose to remove himself from a life of dependent intimacy with God and instead chose autonomous self-love, and we have suffered from this sickness ever since.
To grow into the woman or man God is calling you to be, you must be willing to allow his Spirit to heal you from an inverted love of self. You must see the relational complexities in your family and the brokenness in your community not as a burden to cast off but as an inexhaustible opportunity to model the self-giving love shown to us on the cross.
As we learn to walk in this way of love, we learn to view the world through a different set of lenses. If love is an inexhaustible debt, our question isn’t just “Is this a good school for my child?” but it becomes “Is it a good school for my neighbor’s children?” We pursue education and careers not based on their promised level of income and affluence but on their ability to free us to work for the flourishing of others. Instead of saying “Why did they get that promotion instead of me?” we are able to rejoice in their success and share in their joy.
If we truly believe we are bound to one another in love, and that love can never be exhausted, it has the potential to radically change the way we view the world and our place within it!
PrayerFather, thank you that your love for us is inexhaustible. As you conform us to your image, may that same inexhaustible love define our own lives, we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
ApplicationIs there a debt of love that you have treated as closed and repaid that the Lord wants you to reopen?
Related ReadingJohn 15:13; Philippians 2:5-8; 1 John 3:16
Post/Tweet todayTo exhaust the debt of love is to cease to live for the good of others and simply concern ourselves with our own personal needs. #WisdomHunters #debtoflove
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