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A Good Kind of Debt

Typically we view debt as a negative thing. If we owe money on a credit card, or have a balance on a car or school loan, we want to get rid of it as fast as we can. We are being charged interest to use the money we’ve borrowed. In fact, some refer to it as a usury fee.

Not all debt is bad. Scripture speaks of an indebtedness that comes with being blessed. In fact, the more blessed we are the more indebted we become to those who are not.

Paul believed the gifts he received from God indebted him to those who were less fortunate. In Romans 1:14 he said, “I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise” (NKJV).

Another translation reads, “For I have a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilized world and the rest of the world, to the educated and uneducated alike” (NLT).

The more blessed he was, the more indebted he became, which really applies to us as well. God doesn’t send blessings our way with the idea that we will keep them all to ourselves. The blessings we receive are for us to enjoy and share.

“The golden rule is the principle of true courtesy, and its truest illustration is seen in the life and character of Jesus. Oh, what rays of softness and beauty shone forth in the daily life of our Savior! What sweetness flowed from His very presence! The same spirit will be revealed in His children. Those with whom Christ dwells will be surrounded with a divine atmosphere…” (Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 135).

“Everyone who has been made a steward of the manifold grace of God is called upon to impart to souls in ignorance and darkness, even as, were he in their place, he would desire them to impart to him” (Ibid, p.135).

Working with and for ignorant people can be challenging. The word ignorant means, “lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated” (Google). Ignorance breeds complacency, false assumptions and a distrust of science and learning. It is very difficult to reason with someone who is willfully ignorant. And yet, if we are not this way, we are indebted to those who are.

Think of ways that you can gracefully promote positive learning and intellectual honesty today.

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About Rich DuBose

Rich DuBose

is director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference.

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