A Debt of Love


As the mom of three active boys I live and die by my lists. Be it meal planning, school calendars, sports schedules or otherwise, I keep daily running tabs on who needs what, when they’ll need it, and where they’re taking it. It’s why I no longer have the ability to use big words! But deep, deep down, I know one day I’ll miss being the brains behind this whole operation, regardless of the vocabulary lost.

  • What “daily grind” do you do that helps keep things moving in the right direction or eases another’s load?


8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. How is it possible to “owe” someone love (vs. 8)?
  2. First John 4:19 says, “We love because he [God] first loved us.” In light of this verse, how do you answer the first question?
  3. How are all the commandments summed up? Who comes to mind when you read the word “neighbor”?
  4. How do you care for yourself? How do you care for those dearest to your heart?
  5. Write down “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” but insert the name you thought of in question 3 in place of “your neighbor.” What is the first step toward doing that?


All the “shall not’s” in the Bible point to this: love other people as well as you do yourself. Great! We’re accustomed to loving ourselves in America. Or are we? On a truly inspired, rare day, we forgive our shortcomings, we extend ourselves grace, and we remember who we are. That is the mark of genuine love and esteem, more than being pampered or rewarded with things. Freely forgiving, graciously overlooking, mindful of God’s passionate pursuit and personal delight in your neighbor. All of God’s to-do and to-don’t lists are designed to get us to this beautiful way of living abundantly full.

  • Pray to embrace God’s best life for you: loving others because you are richly loved.