Debits vs. Credits

The most critical thing to understand about debits vs. credits is:

For every debit, there must be a credit. (This is referred to as double entry accounting.)

Why is this the case? In essence, it ensures that as we record transactions, the accounting equation...

Assets = Liabilities + Equity

...remains true at all times!

Based on this, we can understand that...

Every journal entry must have a debit and an equal credit.

...but, what do "debits" and "credits" actually mean?

Well, it all depends on the normal balance of the account the debit or credit is corresponding to!