Text: Luke 19:8-10
Restitution is not a friendly message. Most times, it hurts the recipients! It is an uncommon and unpopular message practically scarce in many churches because preachers do not want to offend and lose their members. However, it is a hard message that clears the way to eternity with God in Heaven.
What then is restitution? Restitution is an act of returning stolen property to rightful owners. Restitution also covers paying bad debts to the owners. It includes exposing wrong deeds done secretly without the knowledge of anybody. Those who defrauded their companies or bosses before they became born again are not exonerated. Such individuals must return the money embezzled from the companies. Restitution is one of the cardinal doctrines of the scriptures. It is aimed at making one’s conscience clear before man and God.
Restitution is an act of confessing to an individual the injury caused without his knowledge. The hallmark of restitution is transparency. There shouldn’t be any secrecy in the service of the Lord. Every hidden lifestyle must be disclosed. Between husband and wife, past life before marriage must be disclosed to each other to ensure trust and clear conscience. Children gotten out of wedlock must be revealed to each other even before marriage to avoid misunderstanding in future.
In the marriage institution, divorce is forbidden as soon as parties are legally married. Any party in the union who does contrary and marries another person, commits adultery. Similarly, anybody that marries a divorced man or woman commits adultery and continues in adultery as long as such adulterous marriage subsists. Anyone that contravenes this biblical injunction must call off the illegal marriage and make necessary restitution.
Abimelech was a scriptural example of a man who restituted Abraham’s wife whom he wrongly took as wife. No man is permitted to marry or sleep with another man’s wife. It is an abomination and it attracts severe wrath of God upon such individual and the family.
Israelites suffered great defeat in the hands of Ai because of Achan’s sin, who coveted and stole the Babylonish garments.
Parents should be careful not to allow their children bring into the house stolen property. Good parents would not allow their children to bring in or wear clothes they didn’t buy for them. Some female children sell their bodies to boys for money and clothes. Unfortunately, some parents don’t have the courage to rebuke them. Rather, they encourage the act by accepting gifts given them by such boyfriends.
Talebearers who sow seed of discord among brethren must immediately make restitution to those they slandered and hurt with their utterances. There are people who give false and unverifiable information, when they don’t have all the facts about a particular matter. If the truth is later discovered, the individual must go back to the offended brother or sisters to make confession and ask for forgiveness.
Restitution is not a one-off exercise. It is a continuous exercise as we journey in this Christian race. Wherever and whenever you discover you are found wanting as regards this teaching, go back to God and ask for grace to make your way right.
Are there pending restitution hanging on your neck? Hurry up and settle it before it becomes late.
Further reading: Numbers 5: 5-8; Acts 24:16; Gen. 20:1-8,14-18; Romans 7:1-3. Matt. 19:3-9; Exodus 22:1-8; Joshua 7:15, 19-26; Prov. 25:23; 2 Cor. 12:20; Psalms 50:20; Prov. 16:28; 18:8; 20:19.
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