One secret to getting along well in this world is to pay people what you owe them. Take care of your debts and the other co­mmitments you make.

Bible Reading: Romans 13:6-7

Give to everyone what you owe them. Romans 13:7

Check any of the statements that sound like something you’ve said:

_____ “Hey, can I borrow a buck? I’ll pay you back tomorrow.”

_____ “Thanks for the favor. I owe you one.”

_____ “If you help me clean my room, I’ll help you next week.”

_____ “Sure, Dad, I’ll pay you back $10 every month until it’s paid off.”

_____ “I’m going to miss you when you move away. But I’ll write every week.”

_____ “Mom, I’ll clean up the kitchen as soon as this program is over.”

When you make a promise, it’s like using a credit card. It’s painless to plop a credit card on the counter, scribble your name, and walk away with something you want. No money leaves your pocket, and you take home something of value-like a new CD, for example. But in a few weeks, a statement shows up from the credit card company, and it’s time to pay up. At that point, you might wish you had never whipped out the plastic. And if you don’t pay your bill on time, that $15 for the CD grows to $17, $20, $24, or more as interest racks up.

One secret to getting along well in this world is to pay people what you owe them. Paying your financial debts is important. But so is taking care of other com­mitments you make to friends, siblings, parents, or strangers. Some promises are easy to make-and even easier to regret you ever made. But here’s the big question: Do you pay what you owe, or just blow off your promises?

Here’s a great thing: Jesus always keeps his commitments to you. He promised, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” (John 10: 10), and hasn’t he filled your life with good things? He said, “I … have come to seek and save those … who are lost” (Luke 19:10), and that’s exactly what he did when he died on the cross. He promised, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20), and haven’t you sensed he’s really there for you? And your biggest hope in life is seeing him show up to fulfill this promise: “I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:3).

So when God says to pay what you owe by making good on your promises, he’s asking you to do something he’s already done. And is still doing. And will always do.

REFLECT: Why bother to keep your commitments? What does it have to do with following Jesus?

PRAY: Jesus, help me be faithful in keeping the promises I make.


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