A letter to the person who stole from our church’s offerings.
First of all, I forgive you. I know that not everyone in our church agrees with me, but as a pastor, I was called to the forgiveness business. I don’t know your story. I don’t know why you did it. I don’t know how desperate you were. I don’t know how long it had been since you were able to buy groceries for your kids. I don’t know how hungry you were. I don’t know how scared you were about being evicted. I just know that Jesus died for your sins, and there is forgiveness for you.
Second, how did you do it? How did you get into the safe where the offerings were put each Sunday? I don’t even know the combination to the safe. How did you know which offering envelopes had cash in them every week? Did you think no one would notice. How did you convince your conscience that this was OK to do? How do you sleep at night?
Third, if you were in a tight spot and needed help, why didn’t you ask? You knew that we help people all the time, no questions asked. You knew that we wouldn’t let you go hungry or homeless. You knew we would help you just as we would help Jesus himself. Why didn’t you just ask?
Finally, I am sorry. I let you down. You are probably someone I know. I should have known and I should have helped sooner. Please forgive me.
(In 2016, someone took about $2,000 from our church’s weekly offerings over a period of several months. We have changed our procedure for handling contributions, but I have also recommitted myself to helping anyone in need.)