Truth Matters: Owe no man
By Ken Askew
“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. Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
ESV Romans 13:7-8
Do Christians have an obligation to pay their debts? Yes, of course; perhaps an even a greater obligation than a non-believer. Is it wrong to borrow or be indebted to someone? Well, sometimes it could be, but certainly not always. What does the bible say about these things?
Lately, I’ve been studying a little book in a small group called “Your Money Counts” by Howard Dayton. It is a dandy little book that gives biblical answers to every day financial questions. It is easy to read and full or biblical wisdom regarding family finances. The book and lots of other very good material is available at www.crown.org. It’s a great book and a great website (lots of free stuff) and I heartily recommend both for further reading.
Dayton, who seems to always speak with wisdom and with an eye towards scripture, is quick to point out that the bible talks a lot about finances. Sixteen parables address money and possessions while more than 2,000 verses speak of money and possessions. Given these facts, our group concluded the other evening that ‘money matters’ in the life of a Christian.
Getting back to our original question, yes, Christians have an obligation to pay their debts. If we owe anything, whether it be for taxes, wages, even respect, we are not to continue in the debt. Instead, Christians are to repay so that “we owe no one anything.” Now, these verses from Romans don’t say that it’s wrong to be indebted to someone, but its is wrong to leave it outstanding. Oh yes, sometimes it would be easier to just walk away, but that simply is not an option for Christians. I realize that our society is geared a bit differently, but Christians take their cues from a higher authority.
Beyond finances, shouldn’t Christians be geared a little differently in all walks of life than non-Christians? The answer is clearly yes. If scripture is the rule and guide of our daily lives then we will most certainly behave and look differently than society. Do we? Do you?
Look at your daily routine. Look at your lifestyle. Look at the things you do, the desires you pursue, the way you work. Does your lifestyle, your attitudes and your outlook show a confidence and contentment beyond this world?
Ken worships at Tharptown Baptist Church in Russellville. Truth Matters articles are available online at www.truthmatters.us. Comments are welcome and may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.