June 16, 2020
Good Morning Fellow Travelers,
Read: Exodus 22:21-23:9
“And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. (Luk 19:8-9)
We have been looking at the practical side of restitution in the last two parts of this discussion. Let’s look now at the need for restitution should we injure our neighbor in other ways.
Do not injure your neighbor’s character. His integrity is something you should defend. Do not mar his peace by intruding on his home, spying on him, or scattering suspicion about him. Never injure his interests in any way. If you find you have in any way cast a doubt over his character, in the spirit of Christian love, go to him and make it right by adequate and humble apology, seeking his forgiveness.
How important is restitution for the Christian? It is vital to the Christian’s spiritual health, because restitution clears the conscience. Read the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:8. In the presence of Jesus, we usually find areas in our lives that need cleaned up and restored. I know a preacher who, while preaching, was reminded that he had once stolen 25 cents from his aunt. He had no peace until he went back and confessed it to her and gave her the money.
We cannot have peace until we clear our conscience. Even if we have wronged others and they know nothing of it, return and make restitution. Write a letter or mail a check. Do whatever you must to be free. Restitution keeps us humble. It keeps us humble to insist in our own hearts that we will be strictly honest. The dividends that we receive in doing this are immeasurable.
What are we Christians made of? I hope we are made of a stern enough material that restitution becomes a way of life.
May Christ shine more brightly among us!
~ James Baer