Am I in a State of Sin?


As I was sorting through the used clothes in the donations bin, I found 15$ in the pocket of a used shirt at the thrift store where I work. With all the excitement, I then split the money with my co-workers who were working with me. However, I later felt guilty and gave my share of the money to my supervisor. I know I did the right thing, but I feel as if I committed the sin of theft. I want to return the rest of the money, but I think it’s too late to ask my co-workers to return their share of the money. Any advice?


You committed the sin when you chose to take the money. The sin is not nullified just because you changed your mind and returned the money. You’ll be forgiven after you confess your sin to a priest.


Return it to whom? I suppose the owner cannot be reached. There may be a rule of the store you work for prohibiting it. In that case it belongs to the store and when you returned the money to the supervisor you should have said who else had the money. If the store does not have a policy for this and you cannot contact the owner, then it would not be stealing.

This type of thing happened often at a grocery store I worked at in high school. Found money would be kept for 2 days. If no one claimed it, the finder got to keep it. It encouraged honest behavior by the employees to turn in the money and usually we got to keep it after two days.


Of course returning the money to its rightful owner is impossible, since it could be one of the hundreds of thousands of people living near by or in the greater townships, suburbs, rural areas, etc. and the donors do not leave any contact information to reach them. They give their used stuff anonymously. I did check the store’s rulebook and there is nothing mentioned about turning in found money. Also, my manager and supervisor never told me to hand in any loose change or cash found in the donations bin.


This isn’t theft; it’s finding $15, which could never in a million years be “returned” to its owner. If you want to give that amount to charity, do so and forget it.


Talk to a priest about this, and pray the rosary, God bless.


I found a wallet at work once with some money in it and made a reasonable effort to track down its owner, which I eventually did after looking up his phone number based on the address on the ID. I mailed it back to him using some of the money in it, and I think I was allowed to keep $20 for myself. The owner got his soaked wallet complete with ID, bank card, credit card, and something like another $20 back which I’m sure was a relief for him. If there was no way to track the owner down I suppose I might have just kept the money.

I’m not sure if what you did was sinful. I don’t imagine you deliberately went out of your way to steal it. You happened to find the money and split it with those around you at work. Then, in hindsight, you realized that it perhaps belonged to the store and returned it. If this is the case, then maybe it wasn’t sinful. If you realized it was the store’s before taking it then maybe it was. :shrug:

If you’re not sure then perhaps you’re not in a state of sin. This is something a confessor told me; if you’re in a state of mortal sin you likely know so.

At any rate, yes it is a good idea to talk about it with a priest.


It is not merely “found” money as another poster suggested. You said the money was in a donation bin. The money should either be returned to the person who gave the donation or if not possible then it is part of the donation to the thrift store.
Keeping it or sharing it is a sin. Giving it back afterwards does not negate the sin.


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