Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Restitution II

I received this question following the Restitution Day & Night of 7/30/03: “Jim, could you be more specific about the lack of restitution among those in whom Christ dwells today? Of what kinds of situations are you thinking?”

Restitution in the Bible normally refers to stealing in one form or another. Money or animals can be returned or paid for. Medical expenses and time can be paid for.

“If men quarrel and one hits the other with a stone or with his fist and he does not die but is confined to bed, the one who struck the blow will not be held responsible if the other gets up and walks around outside with his staff; however, he must pay the injured man for the loss of his time and see that he is completely healed” (Exodus 21:18-19).

Other kinds of evil, such as murder or rape, may get the death penalty for the perpetrator, but that is not restitution. A murdered man cannot be restored to life, and virginity cannot be given back. Other payments may have to be paid, as in the bride price in Deuteronomy 22:28-29, but that is not restitution.

Lying is to be confessed, but that is not restitution.

Unpaid restitution among the saints may be things stolen before they were saved, or cheating on taxes, or being paid cash under the table to keep from declaring income, or other evasions of the law. These acts may not be criminal, but that does not make them not sin. If nothing else, they come under the name of coveting or greed, and they are defined as idolatry in Colossians 3:5.

Spiritually, lack of restitution is carried through life like a low-grade fever in the body. A person with a low-grade fever is too well to be in bed and too sick to be effective in his work. Not taking care of restitution makes a Christian ineffective because he is spiritually sick and under the discipline of God.

(Taken from Day & Night, 2003)

No comments: