Oh, I realize I am just being a dreamer, but I’m not the only one . . . oh wait, that’s been said before . . . anyway, I wonder what kind of radical things could happen if we started living like this. Every day, with every person we would meet, we would say to ourselves first, “I need to show some love to this person. No matter what else happens, I have an obligation to pay him that debt.”
When you wake up in the morning, who is the first person you see? Your spouse? Then say to yourself, “How can I show him/her my love? Despite all of things he/she has said or done, I have an obligation to show them my love.”
When you see your child, say, “How can I show him/her my love? Despite all of things they have said or done, I have an obligation to show them my love.”
Before you flip the finger at the person who just cut you off on the highway say, “How can I show my love? I have an obligation to show them my love.”
Do you see what I mean? This isn’t a command for the world, it is a directive to the Church! Non-believers do not have the heart of the Father—we do! We are responsible to demonstrate the power of love to the world.
Now I was thinking about this idea that our acts of love are a “debt” we owe, and I remembered that, in the past, when I owed people money, I noticed that whenever I met them, the first thing that came into my mind was the debt that I owed them. I wonder if that is what they were thinking about too. This is what Paul says we are to do about love. We are to remember that we have an obligation to every man—to love him. The second thing Paul says is that this obligation is to everyone we meet or see. Ouch!
Remember when Jesus said that we are to “love our neighbor as yourself”? Have you thought about who your neighbor was? Now most of us think of the people who live on each side of our home. Yes, they are your neighbors. Why? Because they live next door to you. They are in contact with you. When you hear the word neighbor, you should think of them. However (and you knew that was coming), you can see that it really includes everyone. The people sitting next to you at Starbucks are your neighbors. So are the people you meet in business, and in your shopping. Wherever you are, the people you make contact with are living right beside you and are your neighbors for that moment. The word to us is that, since we have the ability to love, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. The butcher, the baker, the person who delivers your pizza—get my point? It doesn’t make any difference, they are your neighbors.
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome