Pause

Some pride themselves on being rule-followers. Others see rules as made to be broken.

Think of these “Rules for Relationships” like a ruler – helping us get things straight, connecting two points, allowing us to be level and aligned.

When it comes to loving one another, God knows we need every tool we can get!

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Listen

Don’t be in debt to anyone, except for the obligation to love each other. Whoever loves another person has fulfilled the Law.

Romans 13:8

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Think

It’s no fun to feel like you owe people something, is it? In 6th grade our school used to have a doughnut sale during break, and I often borrowed money from a boy named Adam. But I was always behind on paying him back those quarters, and I felt badly about it. I started avoiding him and imagining how mad he was that I didn’t have the money. I knew I didn’t need the doughnuts, and yet when he offered to loan me money I almost always said yes.

Are there people you chronically feel indebted to? Maybe not for money – but for helping you with homework, loaning you a dress, or inviting you over? The Apostle Paul says in today’s text to owe no one anything, except to love one another. And that to love another is to fulfill the law. What if we looked for ways to be more a giver than a taker? What if we stopped keeping score of who owes whom and focused instead on how to love each person as a child of God?

Cari Pattison

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Pray

Dear God, sometimes I feel like I owe more than I can repay – to you and to certain people. Other times I feel like the world owes me something, and I’m left waiting for it. Can you free me from this feeling? Remind me, God, that what matters most is loving you and loving others. Show me how to do this from the heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Go

Being human together can be hard.
Be gentle with yourself.
Be generous to others.

Love might require effort.
It might mean saying “no.”
It might include “I’m sorry,”
or “I don’t know.”

And when it comes down to it, loving your neighbor as yourself simply means paying attention to what you feel and need and offering the same to another person.

Go in love,
and God be with you.

Cari Pattison

Cari Pattison is a Presbyterian (PC USA) pastor, soon to start a new ministry call in the Mid-Hudson Valley region (NY). She spent the past year thru-hiking two-thirds of the Appalachian Trail and learning a lot about gear, birdcalls, and broken ankles. Originally from Kansas City, she loves both the flatland prairies of the Great Plains and the rolling mountains of the Northeast, and loves how Jesus comes to find you no matter where you go.

It Is Well With My Soul

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