The Debt We Must Not Pay

Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947. His achievement came at a costly price! He was abused verbally and physically. Opposing teams hurled racial slurs. Pitchers threw at his head. Players spat on him. Base runners deliberately attempted to spike him. One day Robinson was having a bad game. He had booted two ground balls and the “boos” were raining down from the stands. That’s when Pee Wee Reese made his move. In the middle of the game, in full view of thousands of spectators, the Dodger shortstop and team captain walked over to Jackie Robinson and put his arm around him. Later in life, as Robinson reflected on the incident, he said, “That may have saved my career. Pee Wee made me feel like I belonged.”

The action of Pee Wee Reese is a great illustration of the kind of debt we never pay off—the debt of love we owe to others. Paul talks about it in the thirteenth chapter of Romans:

Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others. You can never finish paying that! If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments against adultery and murder and stealing and coveting—and any other commandment—are all summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to anyone, so love satisfies all of God’s requirements. (Romans 13:8-10 NLT)

Do you have a car payment, a credit card balance, a mortgage, or some other kind of debt? God says it must be paid. All debts must be paid—except one—the debt of love we owe to others.

Today you will encounter a “Jackie Robinson,” someone who needs your love. It may be a fellow employee, a son or a daughter, the outcast at school, the neglected on the city street, or the person in your church living all alone! Go ahead, make a payment. Show them some love.

FOCAL POINT: Do you have a receipt in your wallet or purse? Put it where you will see it all day long. Let it be your reminder to “make a payment” on the debt of love. Ask God for his help!