Question:

Good Morning,

I was a big sinner in the past. I've asked God for forgiveness. I would like to be pure, holy and ready for when He comes. But I still feel guilty about all the things I've stolen. There was a time in my life when I stole many things from people and shops. I don't steal anymore and will never steal again, but what do I do with the things I've stolen? It's all household items, and I've taken them a long time ago. It's almost impossible to return it to the people and shops that I took it from. Does God want me to get rid of it? I don't want anything in my house to be unholy. But I don't know what to do for example the kettle in my kitchen is about two years old and I've stolen that from a shop. I can't return it should I throw it away or give it away? I really don't know what to do. The only thing that is important to me is God's forgiveness. Please help me with this. I can't talk to anyone else about it as nobody knows that I did this evil. I never hurt somebody else in the process, nobody ever knew, but I know I hurt God and I am so sorry for that.

Hope to here from you soon.


Answer:

When Zacchaeus repented of his sins, he made this statement: "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold" (Luke 19:8). Zacchaeus did not want to have profited by his sins. Those he may be made aware of sinning against, he offered to repay four times. The Old Law required required returning the stolen goods plus 20% (Numbers 5:6-7), so Zacchaeus is demonstrating his commitment to do what is right.

In the same way, if you wish to show your change, give your stolen goods away to charity and to those in need. If someone does accuse you in the future of stealing in the past, be courageous to admit it, and offer to pay for the item more than what it is worth. Yes, this may leave you financially strapped for a while, but get busy earning money so you can replace those things. "Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need" (Ephesians 4:28).