I work for a business where they trust me. Sometimes I don’t have enough money to meet my needs. I sell parts and, when the customers don’t want a receipt, I make up receipts to show that they gave me less money than they really did, and I keep the rest.
I want to change. I’m not doing what is right before God.
Most likely it’s only a little money, and you need it very badly. Under these circumstances it’s easy to justify something that you know is wrong when you are convinced that you are doing it for the right reason. Every day people just like you lie, cheat, and steal believing that their unique circumstances justify breaking God’s law and breaking the laws of their respective governments.
Have you ever had the opportunity to walk down the halls of a prison and speak with the inmates? Almost without exception, they have a story to tell of how what they did wasn’t really wrong because of their particular situation and circumstances. Yet, there they are, in jail for their actions. No matter how justified they feel, laws were broken and they got caught.
You haven’t been caught yet, so you may not have visualized the traumatic experience it would be for your boss to discover your deception and fire you. How bad would your financial situation look if you had no income at all? What if the boss called the police and pressed charges against you for embezzlement? Laws differ from one country to another, but almost certainly you would go to jail. How would you pay for an attorney to represent you?
It’s not worth it! An often quoted Biblical proverb says, “You may be sure that your sin will find you out?”1 In other words, sooner or later you will pay the consequences for what you are doing. You must stop today!
If there is a way to find out how much you have already stolen, then we recommend that you pay it back little by little, even if it takes years. Deny yourself something each week and put the money you save back into the business. The owners probably don’t need that money as much as you do, but that is not the important factor.
What is most important is that you seek God’s forgiveness. He does not require repeating endless prayers or following a formula of repetitive actions to obtain it. What God does require is that you are truly sorry for what you have done and that you simply ask Him in your own words to forgive you. Then, to prove that you are truly sorry, repay what you have stolen, as we have suggested.
Hopefully, you will never have to stand in front of any other judge except for God. And fortunately for each one of us, God has already given our punishment to Someone else. Jesus Christ, His Son, died on the cross to pay for what you have done and what we have done. So when you pray, asking God to forgive you, don’t forget to thank Him for His Son Jesus.
Do it today!
Linda and Charles
1 Nu 32:23b