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17 Pay what you owe


17 Pay what you owe

And never be beholden to another


We all know the story of Joseph the son of Jacob. He has several dreams, each depicting that his brothers and parents would bow down to him. Being the youngest, that just didn’t sit right with the rest of the family. Joseph’s brothers were envious and even angry at him and were going to kill him but decided to throw him in a pit. They later sold him to the Ishmaelites as a slave, who then sold him to the Egyptians.

Many things happen to Joseph while he was in Egypt both good and bad. But most importantly God blesses him, and he gains responsibility and importance. By interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams, he gains the position of chief administrator. God gives him the foresight to store grain during the seven years of abundance and sell it at a profit during the seven years of shortage.

Later, during a time of famine, Jacob sends his children, except his youngest Benjamin, to buy grain from Egypt. Joseph recognizes his brothers when they come but they don’ recognize him.  He sells them grain but secretly puts their money back in their sacks. This is where you read Jacob telling his boys, “Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake.”

This shows us many things:

  1. Be honest
  2. Do what is right
  3. Pay what you owe and never be beholden to another

This might seem a little too obvious and rather insulting. Of course, you would pay your debts! But did you know that right now in Canada the acreage Debt-to-Income ratio is $ 1.78. For every dollar we make, we spend $ 1.78 – ouch! The average Canadian non-mortgage debt is $ 20,967. The average American debt is $ 137,063 per person.

My friend Mark taught me to always pay your bill as soon as possible, if not early. Use your credit cards but then pay the amount due immediately, not when the statement comes. When your suppliers are concerned, pay them immediately, not when the statement comes. In fact, Mark never borrows money for anything and lives by the axiom that if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. What I am talking about here is taking it to the next level.

Why would you do this?

  1. It builds your trust factor.
  2. It improves your credit rating
  3. If there ever a shortage of something and your supplier gets multiple orders who will probably get the order first? Chances it will be you. In fact, Mark is in the food business and this has played out many times.
  4. It feels good and really reduces your stress level.

Does this only pertain to money?

Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

Rom 13:7-8

Paul so eloquently lets us know that we must always put others first. By being the servant leader, encourager, thanker, cheerleader, we fulfill God’s most important commandment outside of “Putting God First”, that is “Love”. Pure and simple. If we put love into everything and love everyone even if they are unlovable, we are rendering others their due. Everyone deserves common respect, understanding, and appreciation – whoever they are and whatever situation they are in. This is truly paying our dues.

Chuck Groot is an author, speaker, teacher. His love of God has spanned over 6 decades and he finds the more he studies the Bible, the less he knows, the more he succeeds the more dependant on God he becomes, and that there is nothing outside of loving God our Father and being loved in return.


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