42 years ago, I , along with my husband (now ex) committed insurance fraud. I was 22 years old and found out that I was pregnant. We had no health insurance and no money for the costs of having a baby. I panicked and came up with the idea of getting rid of our car in a deep lake in order to get money. The car was worth $1700. We did this and reported the car as stolen. The insurance company sent a check for $1700.
I became a Christian a year after this episode. It has bothered me off and on over the years and I confided in some people about restitution, but they said because my sins were forgiven I did not need to pay back the money. Lately, I have really been seeking the Lord, and this matter has again come up in my mind and heart. How does one make restitution when something has happened so many years ago, and will I have to go to jail. I don’t have the money and am on a fixed income. I want to do the right thing. Can you advise me what course to take?
So you committed insurance fraud by sinking your car in a deep lake and collecting insurance proceeds after reporting it as stolen? Now you’re seeking the Lord in your old age and the Holy Spirit is telling you that you have unfinished business. But to call out your age or your fixed income, the fear of going to prison, or the amount of time since the sin — all sounds like excuses to keep from doing what you know the Lord wants you to do.
James 5:16 says to confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. You need to confess this in person to a mature believer who will pray with you about it. Then you must agree to do whatever is in your power to make it right. Let the Holy Spirit lead you and that other person to what He wants you to do to make it right.
Even at your age, you can submit to the authority of the law – which the Bible tells us to do. (Romans 13:1-7) It’s possible that wherever you live there is something about the age of a crime that makes it not punishable. (Some U.S. states have that law.) But even if they do, you must be willing to go to jail in order to obey the law. If you aren’t then one must really ask how badly you want the Lord.
Please write back and tell me what you’ve done to make this wrong a right in the Lord’s eyes. I’ll be praying for you in the meantime.