100 Ways the Bible Can Change Your Life: #23 Keep Your Books Balanced
Christopher D. Hudson
The following is an excerpt from an upcoming book project of mine.
#23--Keep your Books Balanced
Debt reduction is a timely topic—and has been for at least 2,000 years, judging from the apostle Paul’s words in Romans 13:7–8: “Pay all that you owe, whether it is taxes and fees or respect and honor. Let love be your only debt! If you love others, you have done all that the Law demands.”
You’ll notice that Paul took the discussion out of the realm of the fiscal almost immediately. This isn’t just about financial bookkeeping. It’s about living with integrity. This is about enjoying healthy relationships and maintaining balance in our lives.
Paul pointed out that our debts may include respect and honor. That means if there are people in our lives who deserve (or prefer) to be treated with an extra measure of courtesy or deference—because of their age, position, or background—we should oblige. Likewise, if we know people who warrant special recognition for things they’ve accomplished, we should offer that as well. Fulfilling such obligations not only benefits others but is also good for us. It moves us closer to being debt free.
Here are a few other ideas that might fall under Paul’s heading of debt reduction.
If you owe a phone call, you should make it. If you’ve lost touch with a friend, it’s time to reestablish the connection.
If you owe an explanation, you should offer it. If someone somewhere is wondering why you did something, it’s time to explain yourself.
If you owe an apology, you should make it. If you’ve wronged someone, it’s time to seek forgiveness and make things right.
If you owe gratitude, you should give it. It’s time to let the people who’ve made a difference in your life know how thankful you are.
If you owe your time and attention, you should offer them. If you claim that someone or something is a priority, it’s time to show it.
If you owe a confrontation, you should initiate it. If you’ve let a problem situation go, it’s time to address it.
If you owe discipline, you should give it. If you’ve skirted your duties as a parent or manager, it’s time to make amends.
The more unpaid debts you’re able to settle, the more balance you’ll restore to your life.