How do you go about doing restitution for wrongs done?


Hi Guys! Dee asked this question regarding restitution on the last boarding house post I wrote where I talked about prevalent stealing.  I thought to bring it here because it’s an important discussion and the comment section may not have been appropriate for such a long reply. Besides I loved all your contributions on the In-law  question I asked ?.

Here is part of her question.

Come to think of it, how does one go about doing restitution for all those wrongs as a Christian?
I believe they really matter esp as many have hurt others to some very deep extents.
What do you think?

Here’s my take.


Restitution basically means to right or correct a wrong done or to make amends. Generally, one can do restitution by confessing to things done in secrets or lies told, forged certificates and falsifications, paying back money borrowed or stolen, returning borrowed stuff, apologise for wrongs done in the past among others, seeking to ameliorate or ease the pain and suffering one has caused.


The scope of restitution is very wide. Restitution is desirable and necessary especially when the Holy Spirit prompts it.

When it comes to wrongs done to people in the past and restitution for those wrongs, I agree with Dee, I believe restitution matters. However I have to be honest, things can become a bit dicey. We may honestly want to restitute but what happens when we can’t find the person, the person may be dead or incommunicado, confessing may break a family apart or lead another to jail etc.

Restitution isn’t straightforward in some instances.Which is why we need the Holy Spirit to guide us before we do restitution. I believe that the Holy Spirit is the first step to restitution. He should prompt, lead, guide and advice.  In some cases seeking godly counsel may also be necessary. It is not advisable to just jump headlong into  some restitution out of our own counsel. In seeking counsel, we have to be careful to seek Godly counsel. You have to be sure the person understands what you want to do or why. That person should have done restitution themselves at one time or the other, or at least supports restitution so that they do not trivalise an important issue or discourage you.
Let me now be honest, I think it’s impossible to do restitution for everything we have ever done wrong in our life. You cannot return everything stolen or right every wrong because there are some that you don’t even remember. And even if you do, restitution is just not possible. That’s where the forgiveness of God and grace comes in. The first step to restitution is remorse.
Sometimes you remember generally but you don’t remember details.
However, Holy Spirit is no respecter of time. He can remind you of stuff that happened years back that you had even forgotten ever happened. I believe that asking for forgiveness and restitution is important in that kind of case.

Concerning Boarding house, as Dee says, some people have hurt people to some very deep extents. This can happen through the thoughtlessness of youth, false accusations, lies, wickedness as a Senior pangolo, allowing someone take the blame for what you did or outright stealing  There are some hurts done in primary or secondary school that stays with the wronged party forever even after they forgive, they can’t forget. They cannot forget and remember vividly because somebody was hurt, punished, disgraced, expelled or suspended etc.

One can restitute by looking for the person if you can remember their name or trace them. This days of social media, almost anyone can be traced.


A simple message of apology or confession would suffice. It’s important to show remorse. You may find out that even though years have passed they haven’t forgotten the hurt or the shame. If it’s a case of stealing something of theirs, you can offer to pay the cash equivalent back or buy it back for them. Ordinarily, they should forgive you or wave it off but you will be surprised to know that some people will collect that money.

If you feel conviction or get the urge to apologise or confess, then by all means go ahead.

Some are of the view that one can pay back the amount of the thing stolen to a Church if one can’t find the person or his family.


As I have said earlier, restitution can be a really dicey topic. The extent one should go to in restitution can be very controversial. Some people believe that after conversion, the grace of God is sufficient. However what happens to those parents whose child was killed by a hit and run driver, that man who was sacked or went to prison because another person lied. How far should one go in restitution and confession? My sister and I didn’t agree on the extent one should go as at yesterday.

Can one restitute fully? The thief on the Cross had no chance for restitution yet Jesus told him he would be in paradise. Does God judge restitution on the time we have left to make things right, his prompting to do so, our desire to do or just our repentance and asking for forgiveness?

What happens when your confession can lead someone or yourself to jail?


Is it right to return certificates which your parent sponsored the education and do not agree to you returning it?

I have some questions that I am yet to find human answers to. Which is why it’s good to always go to the Holy Spirit.

Dee! I hope say I don try. I almost mailed you my reply because I don’t like controversial topics. But I think I know the kind of people who comment here and we can expect intelligent and well thought, non judgemental responses.

Advice, Christian Life
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  • Reply
    March 8, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    God bless u sis. we sort of share d same views.
    funny enough, the question was almost rhetorical; didn’t even know there cld be a response to it.
    my opinion:humans need guidance to always av d instinct to act right even before meeting with Christ in order to lessen our burden because me I believe in d ‘consequences of sin even after repentance’ o.
    i apologise for always talking too much, jst dt I’ve found a christian friend in ur blog. #I don’t av friends

    • Reply
      March 10, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      Thanks dear.
      Well it’s a good question and worth answering well. I thought of sending it to your mail but I thought of someone else who could learn one or two things.
      I agree that people need guidance to always act right before meeting Christ but unfortunately that’s not usually the case. You have to understand that the spirit we have before meeting Christ is prone to sin and doesn’t understand it’s gravity.
      There are things I did then that I wonder if I was crazy when I did it. Such is the difference between the heart I have now and the one I have then. Which is why restitution cannot be totally avoided.
      Pls talk all you want ok. Don’t apologize. Thanks for your comment and feel free to email me anytime.

  • Reply
    March 9, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Restitution is such a deep and yes controversial topic but you made it really understandable with this post. The first thing I can remember about restitution is the guy who went to write jamb all over again in his finals because he didn’t write his exams himself. It’s quite scary. The Holy Spirit is really needed
    In school, a friend of mine took out of my Nutella on purpose, she’d now come and tell me she wants to restitute even though it was kind of obvious she opened the jar and started licking it on purpose but I won’t judge lol
    In Secondary school too, these girls would gossip about you freely then dispatch themselves to each person gossiped about that they said this and that about them. That’s just abusing the whole concept but if it makes them feel better. Lol. Enjoyed reading this sister bisi!
    Books Vs Movies: Would you rather read or watch

    • Reply
      March 10, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Thank you so much Laitan for your kind comment.
      Thats why it’s best to restitute with the leading of the Holy Spirit.I have read of and heard about a few cases like that, people who get born again and restitute for cheating in exams by redoing the exams all over again or dropping out of school.
      I have never been that person who would castigate or blame them and I understand why they would not mind the consequences of their actions. When restitution comes with conviction to do it, it’s hard to listen to any discouragement.

      Lol at your Nutella taking friend oh.
      As for the secondary school gossips, they probably felt better after, or they just wanted to stir things up.

      Thank you Laitan.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Hmmmm…. very kind of controversial discussion/topic

    Well, to my own understanding restitution should be done under the direction of the Holy Spirit especially He prompts it. I know by experience that the HolySpirit will arrange for that restitution to be made if you wont yield.

    For me, I believe we shouldn’t just decides to go carry out restitution because you heard a guilt ridden testimonies or read some things that prick your conscience and feelings.

    some restitutions. consequences are far reaching and could lead someone to death or jail.

    for example I heard the story of a guy that want to make a restitution, confessing the true mother of his father. He had lied on his mother years back and his mother has been convicted and sentenced to death.
    The case was reopened and the young man was sentenced to death unfortunately.

    Now it boggles my mind and I have the feeling that the above restitution wasn’t directed by the HolySpirit (my sentiment).

    • Reply
      March 12, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      I agree. Restitution should be done with the Holy Spirit’s direction. He can change hard situations to easy ones.

      Of course, we have to restitute for the right reasons. Sentiment isn’t one of them. Plus you have to be aware of the consequences. Some of our past actions sometimes have future physical consequences which we cannot ignore when restituting.
      This is why I emphasize seeking godly counsel in some dicey cases.

      About that guy. I can’t say if the Holy Spirit directed him or not because I wasn’t there. He may have known the consequence and not minded death if he could set things straight. To have cost someone her life can be a great burden that he needed to confess.
      There are several instances where people confess to wrong doing not minding forfeiting certificates, second or third wives, properties, jobs, money, not minding jail. I was told about a former armed robber who wanted to restitute and had a hard time determining if he should tell his wife about what he did even while married, knowing this could lead to the end of his marriage. I don’t know what he eventually did but if he went ahead, then he did so knowing the consequences. Forfeiting ill gotten wealth, estrangement from wife, kids, disgrace and possible jail if the police gets wind of it.
      At that point only the Holy Spirit can direct one right.
      Thank you Immanuel.

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