For over twenty years, I worked in the Mortgage Industry examining credit reports and investigating fraud. A routine check of the borrower’s credit score (a.k.a. FICO) revealed their creditworthiness. A perfect score of 800 or more lowered the potential risk of fraud and early payment defaults. It also epitomized a person of faithfulness, trust, and security.
However, a FICO score under 600 raised red flags and required further inspection. Often, I asked, “How can a manicurist who makes $150,000 annually, drive a Lexus, and report a savings of over $300,000, have a credit score of 510?” Something didn’t add up.
Upon further inquiry, we found that the borrower inflated her income, amassed a mountain of outstanding loans, depleted her savings, and the Lexus reported on the application, sat in the garage totaled from an accident (we noted the crumpled car on the appraisal). The customer lied and decisively misrepresented her character on the refinance loan application. The Company had no choice but to report the applicant to the FBI as a fraud.
People who manage debt are not in sin. However, unrepaid debt is a reflection of a person’s character.
Moreover, Romans 13:8 says, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” (NASB)
When I read that verse, I stopped and wondered why God tucked a command to “love one another” in a chapter about paying your debts. To read that we are obligated to love those that surround us is inspiring. However, to learn that OWE a debt of love is humbling.
Love then is a reflection of our identity as Christians.
An ongoing act of love that has no agenda does not seek its own, and does not pursue repayment, is extraordinary. Furthermore, it embodies our Savior who selflessly carried his cross to Calvary, and died for us, as noted in 1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.” (NASB)
Failure to love is un-Christlike; the world will see us as superficial and fraudulent believers, who look good only on paper. However, a love that serves others reflects a heart that strives to repay the affection demonstrated at the cross.
Love is one of Christ’s greatest attribute.
Like those with an excellent FICO, who are examples of faithfulness, trust, and security, Christians epitomize the same attributes of Christ when we serve others. For us to love is to shine a light on our character. Our care for others is an act based on our faith. We hold dear the world to show that God loves them through us.
In his book, The God Who Loves, Dr. John MacArthur says, “God is the source of all love. Love is, therefore, the best evidence that a person truly knows God: ‘Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God.’ In other words, love is proof of a regenerate heart. This kind of love cannot be conjured up by the human will. It is wrought in the hearts of believers by God Himself. Godly love, therefore, is one of the most important tests of the reality of one’s faith.”
“Lord do Thou turn me all into love, and all my love into obedience, and may my obedience be without interruption.” Jeremy Taylor