Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority. Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbour, you will fulfil the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfils the requirements of God’s law.Romans 13:7-10
Notice the flow of Paul’s thought here. Don’t forget he is dealing with the practicalities of working out the issues of faith in real life. Give to everyone what you owe them – taxes to the government, respect and honour to authority, pay your obligations to everyone. Don’t owe anyone anything.
If you love your neighbour you will fulfil all the requirements of the law. It is like Paul’s thought has moved from payment of taxes to the fulfilment of the debt to love. If love is the fulfilment of the law then our debt to love is never ending. If indeed we love our neighbour then we will embody all of what Paul has been talking about before this. We will show love even to our enemies. Showing love to our neighbour is the highest commandment because when we love we fulfil all the other commandments too. At the very least we need to show love to our neighbour, literally the-at-our-elbow-one. Who is our neighbour, the one at our elbow. The one we are closest too, including Samaritans and our enemies. Love is the most appropriate fulfilment of all God’s commandments. When we love, we fulfil all the commandments as well.
They will know us by our love. Therefore the quality or extent of our love must be remarkable in order to stand out from the rest. It must be a class above the rest. Paul is clearly thinking of Jesus statement related to the second commandment. In fact Paul quotes Jesus. But He is alluding to the fact that paying our dues, our taxes, and our love debt covers all of the commandments and then some. Think primarily of loving your neighbour and all the others things will fall into place. When we pay our debt of love then God is exceedingly pleased. Paul is developing this thought. Remember he started back at the beginning of Romans talking about being a debtor to the gospel (Rom 1:14). Having received the gospel, the Good News, he has a debt to pay to share it. This gospel is “love”, now he has a debt of love to pay. How are you going at paying back your debt of love? It’s for Christ, to Christ, about Christ.
True love will not allow space for adultery. True love will never murder. True love will never permit stealing of any kind. The stealing of time from a boss or the stealing of ideas as well as the stealing of things. Love won’t allow that because we know the impact of how we feel when it happens to us. Your debt to society is to love the society you find yourself in. But of course you can’t love society; you can only love individual people. Some of us somehow think we can love the whole world. You can never do that; you will always have to love humanity one human at a time. Get started now.
Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.Victor Borge
The weight of your message sits on the weight of your reputation. Build reputation first then deliver your message.Jeffrey Rachmat