I have never been put in situations where accumulating mass amounts of debt was necessary, thank God. I have been blessed and taken care of more than I can say. But the few times I have been in debt, one time in particular recently, it was horrible.
I want to discuss the contrast of owing debt, to debt being covered, to receiving a gift.
The Word states that the borrower is a slave to the lender(Proverbs 22:7) & that we are to owe no one anything, except to love each other(Romans 13:8). These things are warned for good reason. Being indebted to another is one of the worst feelings, especially when we know there is no way we will be able to pay it off without help. The worst kind of debt in my opinion is debt owed to a friend. Even though this may be the most lenient kind, since if they are really your friend they will be understanding, the burden that comes with it is the worst emotionally. For physical things like a car payment or school loans, obviously, there is much to lose. The car can get taken away. Our credit can be ruined. But when you owe a friend, a terrible guilt comes along with it. In this recent situation, one of my closest friends loaned me money. It wasn’t much, but enough to be too much to pay back easily at that point in my life, which was paycheck to paycheck. There was nothing left over. Every penny counted. I bit off more than I could chew. I spent more than I had, and all the excuses in the world are not even worth trying. It was a mistake that seemed necessary at the moment, but the guilt and hiding it caused in the relationship was not worth it. Because I owed her this money that I knew I could not afford to pay back at the moment, I hid. I did not speak to her because of how bad I felt about the situation. My friend lent me money she really could not spare and needed back. Paying her back was something that needed to be done. It was the first thing that came to mind when I thought of her. Even to the point where I was unable to bring myself to invite her to my wedding because I felt so bad. When I causally mentioned this to my mother, she immediately told me she would cover it. That I should have asked. For her, the money was no big deal. The friendship and not being indebted was most important. Because I knew I would never be able to repay this in the near future, and my mom knew this, she covered it without a second thought. She payed a debt I owed that I could not repay. She took off a burden and weight that kept me from being able to have a healthy friendship with one of the most important people in my life. When the debt was finally paid, the second I sent that money, I called her and updated her on all things wedding and life. I told her what mindset I had when I owed her that money, and of course she told me I was ridiculous. She told me she was worried since I hadn’t kept up with her and missed me. But that the money did matter, and having it paid off made it so that the relationship was no longer strained, if simply in my mind or in real life. And things could move forward.
Owing, needing someone to pay a debt we owe that we cannot possibly pay, is the basis of our entire need for salvation. And the debt has to be paid. Obviously, if my friend were able she’d love to say “have it, it’s my gift to you.” Of course, God would love to say “it’s my gift to you, have it” but neither could. And just as the wedge in my friendship hurt our hearts, it literally broke God’s heart that sin had severed our relationship with Him. It broke it so much that He made it top priority to make a way, and He did. Without my mom paying that money back, the relationship would’ve always continued this way until it was paid off. And when it was paid off, after my wedding and who knows what other big events in my life, the friendship would have been so strained that who knows if it could ever be resurrected.
There is nothing better than a free gift. There is nothing that brings more relief than when the Lord offers to cover us for no price and not even a harsh scolding, but simply out of His love for us. What sin has severed, grace has mended.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”