Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. Romans 13:8 (NLT)
Legalistic religion has a way of zeroing in on rules while often missing the intended message of the scriptures. For example, legalistic religion grabs today’s verse and says, “See what God is saying? You can’t be in debt!” Of course, it’s essential to know how to handle money wisely, but that’s not what this verse is teaching.
It’s saying that even if we pay off all our debts, we will always owe people love. So, let’s look for opportunities to show it. That’s how Jesus lived. He demonstrated love to everyone without reservation: the rich, the poor, drunkards, prostitutes, swindlers, thieves, societal rejects and those considered repulsive. His love transformed lives wherever He went.
You see, love is not just a feeling—it’s an action. Jesus didn’t just walk past citizens, exclaiming, “Oh boy, I just love people.” He continually showed it during conversations or as opportunities presented themselves. And we can do the same.
For example, the other day, I pulled up to a red light beside a panhandler sitting on the boulevard. He was holding up a sign saying he needed food. Judgmental thoughts initially popped into my mind. Suddenly I thought, I just need to show love. So I quickly reached out the window with some food I had on hand. The guy grabbed it, excitedly thanking me multiple times. He was genuinely appreciative—and hungry!
How often do we forget the simplicity and power of showing God’s love? Let’s strive to live in a way that draws other people to fall in love with God, too. After all, we are never out of debt when it comes to sharing His love. And love put into action speaks volumes.