“If any of the people betray the Lord by doing wrong to another person, they are guilty. They must confess their sin and make full restitution for what they have done, adding a penalty of 20 percent and returning it to the person who was wronged.” (Numbers 5:6-7 NLT)
Crime against humanity is sin against God. When we wrong others, we also wrong their Creator. When we break faith with people, we break faith with God. When we are uncaring toward people, we are unfaithful to Love.
The result is guilt. Our heart is heavy. The sky is dark. Our soul aches with regret for having hurt others and remorse for having trespassed against God.
God forgives us not because we deserve it, but because we desperately need it. When we confess our wrongdoing, our Heavenly Father cleanses our hearts. At his mercy, we experience joy. Heaven’s miracle of redemption enables us to survive moral catastrophes. Storm clouds vanish and the sun shines again.
Then the Holy Spirit prompts us to do more than apologize—to search for ways to set matters right and improve our relationships. We should allow our transformed internal life to show in our external fairness and honesty in dealing with others.
Here’s how we can make it up to people we have wronged—make up for not listening by loving, for rudeness by reaching out, for inattention by interest, for impatience by investment, for criticism by caring, for hurting by helping, for being distant by kindness, for grudging by gentleness, for exasperating by encouraging, for stealing by sharing, for selfishness by serving.
The Lord Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our wronging God—so we can relax. We pay the penalty for wronging others—then we can be at ease.
Johnny R. Almond
Interim Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church; Fredericksburg, Virginia
This devotion based on Day 78 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity