We would all like to live our lives debt free. The stress and anxiety caused by owing money is often debilitating. Or as King Solomon wrote, “The borrower is a slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). No one wants to be in debt to others.
But money is only one type of debt. There are many other forms. If we took some time to think about what others have done for us, it will change the way we live our lives.
Let us begin with our parents. Start by just attempting to quantify the time they invested in us. Think about the effort and personal sacrifice it took to raise us. What about the hard earned money they spent on us.
What about our good health? What about life itself? Being born. Living each day. Experiencing joy. Who has made all of this possible? Who continues to enable it?
Most of us think very little about this form of debt we owe to those who are responsible for our existence. We are afraid to do so for obvious reasons. No one with a huge debt position wants to acknowledge it. We would rather pretend it does not exist.
The good news is that G-d does not expect the impossible. He has therefore worked out a reasonable ‘payment plan’. He has suggested that we repay the debt we owe to him by ‘paying it forward’ to his children.
Next time when we encounter someone who needs a favour and we think that he or she is undeserving, let us remind ourselves of the huge debt we owe G-d and ‘pay it forward’ to his children.