How to right your wrongs
From Numbers: A 5-Week Devotional
“You owe me!” Maybe you’ve said this if you’ve had your wallet stolen, been injured in an accident or even had property destroyed. For any person who has experienced wrong-doing, it’s natural to want somebody to ‘pay’ for the damage.
The Old Testament Law provided countless examples of restitution—how someone would pay back a wrong. Righting a wrong varied according to what had been destroyed or damaged (see Exodus 21 and Exodus 22). Numbers 5:7 says the wrongdoer “…must make full restitution for the wrong…add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the person they have wronged.”
When thinking of a broken fence, restitution is easier to calculate. But what about lost trust or relationships damaged by words? How do we provide restitution for these? What is the value of a reputation injured by senseless gossip or the damage caused by a broken promise? What is a fifth of that worth?
If we are the wrongdoer, we have the power to begin to make right every wrong. In Numbers 5:6, the Lord says, “Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the Lord is guilty and must confess the sin they have committed…”
Taking the first step of confession does two things:
1. It acknowledges responsibility for the wrong committed;
2. It provides a way to healing—for either person.
Restitution is always difficult. The injured person may never forgive us. But if we do not confess our wrongs, we will never have the opportunity to right them.
- Have you been the recipient of restitution? What did it feel like? How did you respond?
- Is there a wrong that you need to confess today? Need help to take this first step toward restitution? Come to the Care Room at NewSpring this Sunday or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org