In the secular/commercial world the well-established concept of credit is generally defined as a contractual agreement in which a borrower receives something of value now and agrees to repay the lender at a later date, with interest added. This involves a level of trust in their ability to honour the agreement. The modern day credit card uses this system. Endeavour to be up-to-date paying your bills, otherwise they create an enormous burden. Paul taught, "If you owe taxes, pay them...Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another..." (Rom 13:7,8). The debt of love for others however is ongoing and can never be paid off.
Give credit to whom credit is due
importantly we should give praise to God that He rescued us from eternal punishment, besides recognising that without Him all our schemes would be futile but with Him we can accomplish all He designs for us (Jn 5:30; Phil 4:13).
God considered or credited Abraham as being righteous because of his faith [in God] not his own actions (Gen 15:6). Similarly, as believers, because our salvation is a gift and not determined by our actions we are credited as being children of God when by faith we repent of our sins and trust in Christ’s sacrifice for us (Rom 4:3-24). God in His mercy credits or imputes the righteousness of Jesus ‘to our account’. As proof of becoming a child of God right actions (those that typify Him) should follow as a natural by-product of our right relationship.
At judgement time God will reward or credit everyone according to whether they have done good or bad (Ezek 18:20; 2 Cor 5:10; Heb 6:10). Paul said, "Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account" (Phil 4:17). This reflects the teaching of Jesus about storing up treasure in heaven by using our money, time and talent for His work in this world, through actions of mercy and kindness to people in distress which reflects the heart of Jesus; so rather than accumulating for ourselves, give to bless others (Mt 6:19,20).
Jesus taught that instead of just doing good to those who can repay us, we should bless those who are unable or unlikely to reciprocate. Our ‘doing’ should always be with a loving spirit and could involve responding in the opposite (godly) spirit to what has been done with evil intent to us (Lk 6:27,28,32-36). Gracious actions display the nature of God who always has our best interest at heart, especially in providing a way of salvation for us. When we minister to hurting humanity, we are credited with doing it as unto God Himself (Mt 25:40).
See also: credit cards, good works, impute, money, opposite spirit, recognition, treasure.