Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other – Romans 13:8
I know we outlawed slavery in America over 150 years ago, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still countless slaves walking out in the open in every neighborhood in the country. You may live next door to a slave and not know it. They may seem like the freest person in the world with everything going for them, but they are in bondage, held in slavery by those who have tremendous power over their lives.
Furthermore, you may also live next door to a slave owner. Sure, he looks decent enough. He drives a nice car, keeps his lawn looking great and coaches a Little League team. She visits kids in the hospital and volunteers for Relay For Life. But in reality, he or she owns perhaps one, perhaps a hundred human slaves. It is not something we care to think about, but this slavery takes place all across our nation.
Now consider this: are you a slave? “Of course not,” you say. “No one owns me.” You’re right, perhaps no one does. It is rare, but you may be one of the free ones. But you may also be a slave owner. Have you ever considered that? Now you’re getting mad at me.
Romans 13:8 says that we are not be in debt to anyone, except for that continuing debt of loving one another. Why would Paul make such an issue over debt? What did he know that his readers may have been unaware of? What did Paul know that you and I are mostly unaware of? He knew that those who were in debt to others were slaves.
Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the servant of the lender.” That word “servant” also means laborer, a man in bonds, a slave or a worshiper! When we have borrowed money from a bank, credit union, friend or even a family member, we have just become a servant and slave to the person who holds our note. We bow our knee and our will to the one we must pay back with an interest rate they set so they could make more money.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a slave any longer.
My wife and I have recently started taking Dave Ramsey’s 13-week course called “Financial Peace University.” It’s a wonderfully insightful and funny look at our money and our money mistakes. Fortunately, we’re not too much in debt. We only have a school loan that we’re working on paying off quickly. I no longer want to be a slave to the holder of that loan. I want to be free.
This means I need to start telling my money what it is going to do and how we’re going to live instead of allowing slave masters (creditors) to tell me how I can live. I’m looking forward to being debt free, and then I can finally live the wise words of Paul and say I don’t owe anyone anything – except the continuing debt to love one another.