Daily Bible Reading Reflections

What I Owe You

Today is a good day to be reminded. I owe you and you owe me.

In Romans 13:7, the Spirit of God instructs:

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

But notice. This principle applies to much more than filing the proper paperwork by April 15th or paying your electric bill on time each month.

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Rom 13:8-10)

I’m in debt today. So are you. As disciples of Jesus, we “owe” love to each other.

“What does that look like?” we might ask. In Matthew 7:12, the Master Teacher provided a simple summary.

“Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

“And who exactly is my neighbor?” might be our follow-up. Jesus answered that very question in Luke 10:30-37.

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love shows compassion. Love sacrifices, counting others more significant than self. Love is patient and kind. Love doesn’t envy or boast. Love isn’t arrogant or rude. Love doesn’t insist on its own way. Love isn’t irritable or resentful. Love doesn’t rejoice at wrongdoing. Love rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Today is a good day to be reminded. We love because he first loved us. May we pay forward what we owe in the name of the Savior who has already covered what we could never repay.