In as few words as possible... I caught a fellow disciple stealing from the offering. I tried to talk with the person, but they wouldn't confess it. This person quit the count team and has been coming to church less. I did, however, see the person helping with the teen collection as I walked by on a later Sunday. I tried to get together with the person to discuss it further with Scripture and prayer, but they were busy. I plan to try again. Biblically, what should I do? I am being gentle. But should I expect the person to confess to someone like the overseer of the money, or should admitting it to me and saying they are getting help and repenting be enough? Should I tell the overseer, if this person doesn't? Please help. This is eating at me and I'm sure it is eating at them also. I just don't want to cause damage by handling it wrong.
You are right that it does need to be addressed, but addressed lovingly and gently - follow the basic principles of Matthew 18:15-17 and Galatians 6:1. Here are some thoughts:
- Ask why (Proverbs 20:5) - are they desperate, what's going on "behind the scenes?" There may be real needs/issues that require attention.
- The "overseer(s)" of the finances do need to know, so it is not allowed to continue.
- True repentance would be two-fold: (1) the brother/sister would no longer be allowed to count money, and (2) this person would need to pay back what was stolen (Luke 19:8).
If the Brother/Sister does not respond to you, then yes you need to go to the "overseer." He/She can't be allowed to keep stealing from the church for the sake of "not gossiping."