Repentance Should be Accompanied by Restitution

The latest Richard Urban Show:
#120 – Why is Society in Such a Mess?

Cheon Seong Gyeong 1155

If Adam and Eve had been able to fathom God’s inner heart, they could not have possibly fallen. God loved His children as a Parent, but they did not understand the depth of His parental heart. Of course Adam and Eve fell while they were still young, but their young age itself was not the cause of the Fall. Rather, they fell because they were lacking in heart. Had they been able to feel, “He is living for me. He can never, ever be separated from me. He is involved in everything related to me,” they would not have committed the Fall. Ultimately Adam and Eve fell because they could not reach unity in heart with God. This dreadful problem occurred because their desires deviated from God’s desires and the direction of their thinking was different from the direction of God’s thinking. (65-173, 1972.11.19)

Cheon Seong Gyeong 1097

I take complete and eternal responsibility for those who have received the Blessing, even in the spirit world. I will directly guide them and lead them. The Blessing establishes an eternal relationship between the True Parents and those who receive it. (God’s Will – 533)


PEACE FLOURISHES WHERE THERE IS JUSTICE. While justice may not appear the same to people on opposing sides of a conflict, steps should be taken to right wrongs, pay back debts, and restore trust when it has been violated. Usually it is not enough to repent for having wronged one’s neighbor; repentance should be accompanied by restitution.

Restitution is most effective when it is given freely by the guilty party to his victims, not exacted from him as the price of defeat. Compare the war reparations that Germany was forced to pay to France and England at the end of World War I by the Treaty of Versailles with the restitution Germany paid after World War II to Jews and other victims of the Nazis. In the former instance where the reparations were forced upon Germany, it created massive German resentment and fueled calls for revenge that led directly to the rise of Hitler. In the second instance where Germany felt sincere repentance for its Nazi crimes, the restitution has served to foster good will between Germany and its former enemies.
Thus it is a principle of peacemaking that we should offer restitution willingly to those we have harmed, accompanied by genuine repentance for the wrongs we committed. There are also the sins we commit without knowing, or debts we inherit from the past, or wrongs for which we are collectively responsible; we can also make restitution for these. Father Moon has developed this concept into a teaching called ‘restoration through indemnity.’ He teaches that ‘indemnity’ is not a fixed amount, like an insurance claim, but rather a matter of giving whatever is required to assuage the other party’s aggrieved heart. It can be small if the other party has a mind to forgive; or it can be great if the relationship has been strained by years of treachery and mistrust.
The phrase, “an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth” can be taken in its original biblical meaning as a legal formula for making restitution; and it is so understood in Judaism. People know innately that they should pay back the full amount of their debt. The phrase is often cited wrongly, however, as a justification for revenge. That is a completely different matter. Revenge by the aggrieved party is a kind of rough justice, but it is not conducive to peace. It only furthers the cycle of violence. The scriptures teach that it is better to forgive.

O dweller in the body, make reparation for whatever you have done!
    Garuda Purana 2.35 (Hinduism)

The Day of Atonement atones for sins against God, not for sins against man, unless the injured person has been appeased.
    Mishnah, Yoma 8.9 (Judaism)

Sama’a asked Imam ‘Ali about whether there is a way to repentance for one who commits premeditated murder. He said, “No, not unless he pays the blood money to the murdered man’s relatives, frees a slave, fasts for two consecutive months, asks God’s forgiveness and offers voluntary prayers. If he does this then I would hope that his repentance would be accepted.” Sama’a asked, “And if he has no money?” He said, “Then he should ask the Muslims for money so that he can pay the restitution to the blood-relatives.”
    Hadith (Shiite Islam)

If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
    Exodus 21.23-25

And We prescribed for them: “A life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds retaliation.” But whoever foregoes it in the way of charity, it shall be expiation for him.
    Qur’an 5.45

In reconciling a great injury,
Some injury is sure to remain.
How can this be good?
Therefore the sage holds the left-hand tally
[obligation] of a contract;
He does not blame others.
The person of virtue attends to the obligation;
The person without virtue attends to the
Tao Te Ching 79 (Taoism) 

Whoever, by a good deed, covers the evil done, such a one illumines this world like the moon freed from clouds.
    Dhammapada 173 (Buddhism)

If one has, indeed, done deeds of wickedness, but afterwards alters his way and repents, resolved not to do anything wicked, but to practice reverently all that is good, he is sure in the long run to obtain good fortune—this is called changing calamity into blessing.
    Treatise on Response and Retribution 5 (Taoism)

Again, though I say to the wicked, “You shall surely die,” yet if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has taken by robbery, and walks in the statutes of life, committing no iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right, he shall surely live.
    Ezekiel 33.14-16

There was a rich man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and rich… And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house.”
    Luke 19.2, 8-9

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