As a young adult, just heading to college, I remember some advice my dad gave me; “Don’t get a credit card. You’ll never get out of it.” I didn’t asked him much about this advice or rather, warning, but I had a feeling he knew a thing or two about this.
I wish I could say I listened. Instead I made plans with new found friends to head to Florida for Spring Break. My tax refund check didn’t come soon enough, so I filled out the easy application that magically appeared in my dorm mailbox and drove off to Florida with a piece of plastic in my pocket worth $3000.
I wish I could say I’ve never had any debt, especially from a high interest credit card, but I have. And at times, I’ve felt like I could drown from the weight of it.
But that really isn’t the worst of it. My relationship with debt was distracting me from the rich relationship I could have been having with my heavenly Father. It was keeping me strapped to a monthly payment I wanted to give away to someone in need. I was kept from loving people the way I wanted to and reflecting the generous love I’ve received from God through his gift of Jesus Christ.
Paul instructs in Romans 13:8 to, “Owe nothing to anyone – except for your obligation to love one another.” And in my pursuit to love others in this life, in the same generous and lavish way God loves me, I fulfill God’s law to love Him and love others.
Being free from owing someone something other than my love for them frees me to love them deeply, to really invest in them and not just with money, but with my time, my attention, with the eternal part of me that will give the opportunity to share the Good News of Christ. If I’m busy paying off debt or worried about matching someone’s generosity, that becomes my focus, that becomes what I think about, that becomes the biggest part of me. It is a trap, a prison, a lonely place that does not align with a free and full life that God has dreamed for me.
Are you caught up in what you owe men? Consider and pray how to be rid of this and be free to spend yourself in the lives of people, loving them out of obligation to the One who showed us what love is.