Be not in debt to anyone

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another.
– Romans 13:8

“Owe no man anything.” Be not in debt to any one:

1. because it is a part of our duty as good citizens; and

2. because it is a part of that law which teaches us to love our neighbor, and to do no injury to him, (Ro 13:10). The interpretation of this command is to be taken with this limitation, that we are not to be indebted to him so as to injure him, or to work ill to him.

This rule, together with the other rules of Christianity, would propose a remedy for all the evils of bad debts in the following manner:

1. It would teach men to be industrious, and this would commonly prevent the necessity of contracting debts.

2. It would make them frugal, economical, and humble in their views and manner of life.

3. It would teach them to bring up their families in habits of industry. The Bible often enjoins that. See also “Ro 12:11”, comp. (Phil. 4:8; Prov. 24:30-34; 1Thess. 4:11; 2Thess. 3:10; Eph. 4:28)

4. Religion would produce sober, chastened views of the end of life, of the great design of living; and would take off the affections from the splendor, gaiety, and extravagances which lead often to the contraction of debts, (1Thess. 5:6,8; 1Pet. 1:13, 4:7; Tit. 2:12; 1Pet. 3:3,5; 1Tim. 2:9).

5. Religion would put a period to the vices and unlawful desires which now prompt men to contract debts.

6. It would make them honest in paying them. It would make them conscientious, prompt, friends of truth, and disposed to keep their promises.

– Albert Barnes, 1798 – 1870, Barnes Notes

Published in: on May 22, 2016 at 1:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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