This is a guest post by Jason Stasyszen, a very supportive fellow blogger, and someone I consider a friend. He is a church planter in Alaska who has a very approachable personality. I love fellow church planters, so he occupies much of my prayer time. He authors the site “Connecting To Impact” – be sure to add his site your RSS reader
I’m in debt. Some of it is due to circumstances beyond my control, some my own choices, and some just a lack of wisdom. I don’t like it, but it’s still true.
And the reality is this debt influences some of what I can and cannot do. I may not be able to give as much or as often as I like. I may not be able to afford to go on that mission trip because it will mean I have to take leave without pay.
I could just quit paying the creditors, but how does that look to a world needing Jesus? No, I try to make a plan, do my best to stick to it, and get out of debt while figuring out how to avoid the pitfalls again.
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law (Romans 13:8).
I can see how monetary debt controls some of what I can and cannot do, but here’s where I’m wrestling: will you and I allow that debt of love to direct and constrain us?
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13).
What if I saw loving and serving those around me truly as my debt? What if this controlled what I could and could not do? Maybe I wouldn’t think I can say whatever I want when I want. Maybe I wouldn’t pass by the person in need, pretending I didn’t see them.
I am quick to say I owe God everything, but where I want to live with integrity with the bill collectors, I find myself behind in payments with God many times. Don’t misunderstand, we can never repay God for His kindness and goodness, taking the shame, sin, and death we deserve. It is a debt that continues forever, but this is my point.
My loving and caring for brothers and sisters in an expression of love to God, and if I don’t I’m a liar. This is not about guilt and condemnation, but living what I say I believe. There is a real debt, a continuing debt, to love one another, and I need to plan my life accordingly.
This debt brings freedom to us and those around us. I can’t say I fully understand, but I know it’s true.
There’s a debt nonetheless. We can’t fire off a “payment” here and there—a volunteer hour, a phone call, a tithe check, a mission trip— and be finished with it. A lifestyle of love must be developed and maintained because we are not our own and there is grace and freedom here and now.
Have you ever thought of debt this way? Do you feel moved by the debt to love?