Do I.O.U.? - A Family Devotional


Do you pay what you owe? Or do you just blow off your promises?

Bible Reading: Romans 13:6-7

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

Listen to some of these lines—and see if any of them sound like something you have muttered:

  • “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.”
  • "Can’t I get it, Dad? I’ll pay you back every week until it’s paid off.”
  • “I’m going to miss you when you move. I’ll write every week!”
  • “Mom, I’ll clean up my room as soon as this program is over.”

When you make a promise, it’s like using a credit card. It’s painless to plop plastic on the counter, scribble your name, and walk away with something you want. But in a few weeks, a bill shows up from the credit card company. It’s time to pay up. At that point you might not want the DVD as much as you want the fifteen dollars you owe for it. You might even have gotten sick of the DVD and shelved it. You might wish you had never bought it in the first place.

One secret to getting along well in this world is to pay people what you owe them. And not just the buck you borrowed after school yesterday for a candy bar. Paying money you owe is important. But so is taking care of all the other promises you make to friends, brothers and sisters, parents, or strangers. The big question is this: 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 to “give life in all its fullness” (John 10:10). He’s kept that promise to fill your life with good things, hasn’t he?

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 became a man and 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?

He promised an eternity in heaven—he said, “I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:3). Is that a promise you look forward to him keeping?

When God says to pay what we owe by making good on our promises, he’s ask­ing us to do something he’s already done, is still doing, and will always do.

TALK:  Why bother to keep your commitments? How does it inspire you, knowing that Jesus keeps his promises to you?

PRAY:  Jesus, help us be faithful in keeping the promises we make.

ACT:  Is there a promise you’ve let slide? Go keep your promise before you do another thing!

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