Is Restitution a Biblical Mandate?
“Dear Matron, Please forgive me for the nurse’s cap I stole 50 years ago and accept $20” reads the headline on a News.com.au article which was published a few days ago.
“I have been a Bible student for many years and in it says that if we steal something that does not belong to us we must restore 4 x the value… I felt caps would cost $3 or $4 and so I multiplied that.” Around 50 years ago the nurse had used a nurse cap to clean her shoes and she now felt that it was time to make up for this “episode.”
Is restitution a biblical mandate?
There are quite a few biblical references relating to restitution. The ‘remorseful nurse’ seemed to refer to these verses from Luke,
Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord,
“Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor,
and if I have defrauded anyone of anything,
I will give back four times as much.”
According to the records, Jesus responded by saying to him,
Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham.…
From the Scripture verses in Luke and many other verses similar to these, we know that the Bible tells us to restore back to people what was taken from them in error or by deliberate defrauding.
The Bible refers here to deliberate defrauding. For most of us it is probably more subtle, as with the nurse’s cap. This story triggered my memory and I remembered one particular incident where I accidently damaged someone else’s property and did not make up for it.
My Brother’s Brand New Front Porch Column
I am usually an okay driver but once I crunched a brand new front porch column on my brother’s brand new drive of his brand new house. I felt so remorseful and told him to send me the bill, of course. But he never did. I recently enquired about it and he laughed it off saying that, “All I had to do was replace a large sheet of aluminium, cost me about 20 bucks.”
Pfew, that really had been playing on my mind and I felt instantly at ease when he mentioned that and resolved to give him something nice for his new house.
Funny how we don’t seem to be able to shake these little mishaps where we feel we ‘owe someone.’ It’s called our conscience I believe.
NEW YEARS EVE BLOOPER
Whilst reading the article in the news other memories came up for me about past events.
Once as a teenager during News Years Eve, I decided to visit a friend, “just for an hour.” That’s what I told Mum. But I actually stayed away for quite a few hours. I simply lost track of time with too much fun to be had at my friend’s place who had family visiting from all over the country.
It is now 40 years later and I still remember my Mum’s disappointment when I woke up the next morning after partying hard.
“You said that you would only be out for one hour and you stayed out all night,” she told me.
What had happened is that everyone at my home had gone to bed early and Mum had been sitting by herself on New Years Eve. I felt terrible about it and did for a long time after.
My Mum has passed on and now what? I would love to be able to reach a place of compassionate understanding and peace for both of us. Not only about this particular event but about many other similar events also. Situations where, often despite my best intentions, I may have hurt people I love the most.
THE GOD SESSION
What to do? At some stage, you have to forgive yourself for mucking up. One book that really helped me with that is THE GOD SESSION.
This book was written by my friend Kathryn Springman. THE GOD SESSION utilises Scripture to help people resolve family issues from millennia ago! Fancy that!
I didn’t even know that this was possible.
So now, instead of fretting over issues, I become pro-active, read through some chapters of Kathryn’s book and have a GOD SESSION.
I highly recommend her book which was written with rev(f)erence to Scripture and is very useful for resolving past and present family and other, such as health, issues.
The subtitle of Kathryn’s book is ‘Healing the past and Embracing the Future with Scripture, Science, and Energy Medicine. It is available from Amazon. https://amzn.com/B019SDLPKS
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– republished with permission from THELORDSPUB –
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