Debt Piles Up

God will reward your generosity.

The words came unexpectedly.  I didn’t even know the man was paying attention to the transaction which had just occurred in the music store.

I’ve mentioned on several occasions, that with increasing regularity, opportunities pop up to help folks in less advantageous circumstances.  Believing that we have been put where we are with a better purpose than amassing wealth, I attempt to make a habit of helping when I can, usually in a mostly insignificant way.

“God will reward your generosity.”

Without thinking, I glanced up at the man in front of me.

“He already has.”  

I said the three words that came to me.  Nothing more.  A total of eight words were spoken on the subject.

We moved on to our business and the terse conversation was forgotten.

I think it needs to be revisited.  In a way, it actually was for me later in the day.

A customer from Pennsylvania called to request a CD we didn’t have.  I found a company which could provide it and walked the aging man through the process to purchase it on their website.

He was extremely grateful and said essentially the same thing the fellow in my store had earlier.

“God will bless you for this.”

I wonder.

All my life, I’ve listened to the talk of rewards and blessings.  I’m confused.  

God has given—given—us the magnificent gift of grace.  The penalty for our sins has been paid in full.  The gift of God is salvation, not of works, but by grace through faith.  It’s all Him.  All of it. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

And now, if all I do is obey Him, He owes me more?

If I love my neighbor, be he in my music store, or across the country in Philadelphia, I get to keep track of it and present the expense statement for repayment?

I don’t mean to be cynical and I certainly don’t mean to ruffle feathers.  Still, I’m looking for the day when we look at the good that others do and simply acknowledge it’s what we all should be doing all the time.

I want us to realize that our love for each other is simply servicing a debt we owe to a Creator who loves us more than words can express.

It’s a debt that can never be paid off.  


I want to be very clear.  God owes me nothing.  

If I did nothing but good for those around me until the instant of my death, there would never be a hint of any blessing owed me in the ledger kept for such things.  Not a feather’s weight would tip the scale in my favor.

I owe Him everything.  I always will.

It is true for every saint and sinner who ever walked this dusty earth.

We owe.

But, understand this as well.  He never forces us to lift a finger in repayment of the debt.

His love though—His love—makes us into people who cannot help but recognize the claim He has on our actions and attitudes.

We love.  Because He loved us first, we love. (1 John 4:19)


Blessed?  Beyond any ability of man to describe.

Rewarded? In ways I will never know—so far out of balance to what I owe.

I owe.  Maybe you do too.

We need to be paying up every day we live.  Without coercion and without a profit motive on our part, we should give.  God loves a cheerful giver.  (2 Corinthians 9:7

beggar-1016678_640We pay on our love debt by helping others.  It’s the way the system is designed to work.  

The world is sitting with their hands out, waiting for them to be filled.

It’s time for us to pay up.

He’s already blessed us for it.




Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
(Romans 13:8 ~ NIV


The world does not understand theology and dogma, but it understands love and sympathy.
(Dwight L Moody ~ American evangelist/pastor ~ 1837-1899)





© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

One thought on “Debt Piles Up

  1. Paul, thank you for causing me to pause for a moment and think of all that God has done for me. Let’s start with the biggy. He saved me from hell despite the fact that I deserve it according to His perfect standards. If the blessings stopped right there, it would be enough. But that’s NOT enough for our extravagant God! He gives His Holy Spirit. His Word. His armour. And the list will go on and on.

    What should be my response to this? “We pay on our love debt by helping others. It’s the way the system is designed to work.”

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