MEMORY VERSE: He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” – Micah 6:8 (KJV)
BIBLE PASSAGE: Genesis 33:1-11
LESSON INTRODUCTION: Simply put, restitution is the act of making right the wrong done against someone or an institution. God is a just God and He expects justice from everyone (Micah 6:8; Jeremiah 22:3). This is such a universal law of human relationships that even the world’s courts know that it is just and right to require that corrections be made for wrong actions of the past.
- KINDS OF RESTITUTION
- SATISFACTORY COMPENSATION
1. KINDS OF RESTITUTION
There are two basic kinds of restitution, depending on what was taken/lost.
- Restitution for material loss. This is to make material or monetary reparation, compensation, reimbursement or repayment (or the equivalent) to the victim for what was lost, forcefully taken, damaged, or injured due to our (wrongful or accidental) actions (1Sam.12:3; Lk.19:8).
- Restitution for personal loss. When it comes to relationships, once it is realised that we have wounded another person, inadvertently or consciously, restitution is the act of retracing our steps for the purpose of attempting (as much as it is in our power to do so) to make right any offence, or restore any emotional or non-material loss endured by another due to our sinful or unintentionally hurtful actions, words or other choice(s) – (Gen.33:1-11; Gen.50:15-21).
David actually asked God to test his heart for him so that God could point out his wrong (Ps.26:2; Ps.139:23-24).
2. SATISFACTORY COMPENSATION
Generally speaking, if making restitution will require that the person pays a great deal more than the thing is worth; it requires that satisfaction only be made. For instance, if you borrow someone’s car and wreck it, but replacing the exact make and model of car would cost way more than the car is worth, making satisfaction would mean that you pay the car’s owner an amount agreed upon that better represents the loss instead of the huge sum that an identical replacement would cost.
Knowing this guideline, do not loan out something that cannot be replaced unless you are okay with losing it. You may not be able to receive an exact replacement (such as something with sentimental value that makes the thing priceless to you). This teaches us that it is not just the borrower that needs to be sure they can afford to replace the thing loaned to them, but the lender must also do some calculations of their own (Isa.24:2).
Over-compensation, or the desire for it, is evil on the part of the one who has lost, in that it is greed and covetousness.
The completion of restitution will appease our conscience and give us peace of mind. It releases others from the temptation to withhold their forgiveness since the payment has been voluntarily made by the offender.
CONCLUSION: Understand your degree of offence and make efforts to compensate satisfactorily.