What do you owe? Have you thought about what you owe to others? Have you thought about who you owe? Do you pay what you owe? Have you considered that owing someone is not always financial?
I see a horrific trend in our culture today. Many, if not most, seem to think they are owed rather than they owe. There are people who always demand attention. There are people who track every penny owed them but fail to repay their own debts. There are people who demand respect but give none.
The Apostle Paul tells the Roman church they should pay all debts. He calls out both financial and personal debts. Financial debts are much easier to track. They are quantified through loan balances, invoices, tax statements, or cash register totals. Many of our financial transactions are agreed upon. We sign the loan contract. We agree to have someone perform work for us. We choose to buy products.
It is the personal debts that are more difficult to quantify. Some are relatively easy. There are people who are voted into office, promoted to managerial positions, or appointed to leadership positions. Even if we do not like them, we are to give them the respect and honor their position warrants.
But what about people in our everyday lives? We should treat all people respect. I’ve heard it said more times than I can count. Yet I continue to see people being disrespectful, yelling at one another rather than having a respectful conversation. I see people become upset about what was served for dinner rather than being thankful for the dinner that was provided. I’ve seen people accuse others of something without first asking respectful questions. If we will treat everyone with respect, we will be respected. Respect cannot be demanded.
I pray we all evaluate our debts. I pray we pay those to whom we owe debts. I pray each one of us pays special attention to our paying the debt of respect and honor to others. Pay your financial debts. Pay your personal debts. Treat everyone with respect. Give honor to those who have earned it. Honor God in all your actions.
Romans 13:8 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.