“Owe no one anything, except to love one another...”
— Romans 13:8a (NRSV)
LOVE is the fulfilling of the Law of the Lord. Life has no better answer than love. Love completes transactions that otherwise remain incomplete. But we must also realise that love – by its action-oriented nature – means we will not betray our neighbour in any way, and, if we do, we will make generous restitution.
If we can manage our lives in such a way as to truly owe no one anything, except for love, then we have achieved a contented life.
When we have organised life that well that what we owe is just the debt of love we were commanded from the beginning to give, we reach a privileged precipice of peace.
To Owe or Not to Owe?
Owing people things of this world is a potentially erosive thing. But we need to qualify such an equally potentially erroneous statement. Sometimes it’s fear that qualifies our lack of allowance for having a debt underwritten. But when we resolve to settle those debts, that’s when our freedom is bought. It all depends on who we owe what to, amongst other interpersonal arrangements.
Some debtors are very generous, and those who are full of grace are motivated by Christ’s love abounding in them by the Holy Spirit.
When we do not owe a single soul anything, all of a sudden we are free to love without thought for partiality – to not favour the one we owe! This is a character test. Are we able to continue to deal impartially when we know we owe someone something we cannot repay just now?
There is a bigger stake in all this: love’s opportunity.
As there are a thousand opportunities to love every day, we have our work cut out for us already. Why cloud the situation by owing people – to the stretching of friendships – when love would be the loser?
If we meet the Law of Moses – that is, the documented law of the land – and in every way we know and can – then we are enrolled and entitled to knock at Love’s Door. We are let up that garden path without guilt and we approach the Door ready to receive Love’s response.
When we owe others love and nothing else we are placed, finally, to do God’s will in this world.
Love – the highest law – is the transcending of all other debts, because it meets all debts. Love is the action of ensuring no worldly debts remain that would transgress love. But love moves onward, into the realm of making thought for debts abundantly redundant.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.