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Love You Like I Owe You (Romans 13)

Romans 13 begins with the Apostle Paul advising the church to submit to governing authorities. He states that there is no authority except God, and because of this, God is the one who establishes governing authorities. Paul concludes that if anyone resists their governing authorities, then they are opposing what God established. And of course, if we oppose what God has established, then we are outside of the will and way of God.

This does not necessarily mean that our leaders will be men and women of God. It does not mean they will be just, fair, or tolerable. Indeed, the Book of Romans was written to the Roman Church, which was under an unbearable government. The Roman government was by no means godly. So, when word spread that the Messiah had come, many assumed he had come to overthrow the Roman authorities, yet that was not Christ’s intention.

Christ had a bigger kingdom in mind—one that would outlast the world's temporary concerns. Overthrowing the Roman government wouldn’t have helped them reconcile to God. It would have only granted them peace for a season. But God wanted us to have peace for eternity through belief in his Son.

Likewise, we may not always agree with our leaders. A governing authority could range anywhere from a husband, a boss, or the President of the U.S. A wife may not agree with how a husband leads, an employee may utterly dislike their manager, and there is always someone moping about how unintelligent and ill-equipped the president is. We may not always like how our leaders manage situations or even others.

But if they hold a leadership position over us, we must comply. Of course, there is an exception to this. In the Book of Daniel, we see that Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego resisted their rulers because the powers that be wanted them to commit idolatry. Obviously, we should align ourselves with God’s commands over man’s commands at all times. We never compromise ourselves or our faith for the sake of leadership.

Yet, our governing authorities usually do not ask us to compromise our faith. We simply need to comply with the laws of the land. As Christ said in Luke 20:25, “Render to Ceaser the things that are Ceasar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” No doubt, sometimes those in leadership are tyrants. Sometimes, they are wicked and evil, and we may have a hard time submitting ourselves to their authority.

If we find ourselves in this predicament, we must remember that God knows all and sees all. It was God who placed the governing authority over you, and if need be, it will be God who will remove that authority from over you. Let your mind become more like Christ’s. Christ wasn’t concerned about the Roman authorities. He was concerned about the will of His Father.

Set your mind on things above and whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as if you are working for the Lord and not man (Philippians 4:8 and Colossians 3:32-24). If you are hired at a job to perform your duties, do not slack. Give what you owe. If you owe the government or any other entity money, pay them. In verse 8, Paul states we are to owe nothing to anyone, except love.

Paul states that loving one another fulfills the law—that if we love one another, we will not wrong one another. Therefore, loving both God and man are the two greatest commandments. Paul concludes that we should do this because the hour is at hand.

He admonishes us to lay aside the deeds of darkness and to put on the armor of light. To do away with all manners of sins including drunkenness, sexual promiscuity, strife, and jealousy. We should take these things off and put on Christ because salvation is closer now than it has ever been.

And so, in response to Romans 13, I simply want to encourage you to deposit love. If we can pay love to one another the same way we pay our bills, we’d correctly reflect Christ in the world. Paul stated that we should owe nothing to anyone except love. Therefore, we should love people like we owe them. Let us love people as if our home is in foreclosure, the threat of losing our residence is looming, and paying in love is the only way to get it back.

May we petition God to show us how to love in this capacity, and upon his instruction, let’s show Godly love toward each other in a way that pleases him. I pray that I can love you like I owe you and that you will return the favor. May God bless you and keep you. Until next time, take care.


Quin Arrington is a Christian wife, mother, and author with books available for purchase at

Thank you for your time. God bless!

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