(Matthew 18: 23-35)
The Chief Security Officer was elated.
The thief had been caught.
He knew the Managing Director would be
very pleased with him.
He put a call through to him to tell him.
The culprit was a staff of the company.
They had noticed some goods were
getting missing from the store for a
few months now.
They had thought it was the store keeper,
but it took the CSO a few months to
find out who the thief was. It was Mr. Felix.
The news spread round the organization
like wild fire. Mr. Felix? The man was very
quiet and reserved, he was the last man
you would suspect to be a thief…
The MD called for a staff meeting and
Mr. Felix was also there.
The MD told him how shocked he was.
“You have been a staff of this company
for 15 years. You have risen to the
position of a supervisor.
Needless to say, I am very disappointed
in you. I would have vouched you could
The Accountant has informed me that all
you have stolen is valued at 2 million naira.
You are dismissed with immediate effect.
You will be handed over to the police and
you will pay that money back to the
organization- I don’t care how you do it
but trust me, you WILL pay back!”
Mr. Felix broke down in tears.
“Sir, I am sorry…” the other staff members
sneered, “Yeah, right! You’re sorry you
got caught, you mean…”
Mr. Felix went on his knees.
“Sir, have mercy on me! I know I have
wronged you, but I plead with you to
temper justice with mercy. I will never
steal anything again, please give me a
The police arrived in the office- the CSO
had placed a call across to them.
As Mr. Felix was hand cuffed and led away
to the police car, he turned and looked at
the MD. “Sir, please, don’t let them take
me away. I don’t think I will come out of their
custody alive. Please have mercy on me!”
The MD did not say a word. Mr. Felix was
pushed into the waiting vehicle and they
Just as they got to the gate, the security
man waved them down.
“Officers, the MD just called to say you
should please come back to his office.”
The police turned back and returned to
see the MD.
“Gentlemen, sorry for wasting your time.
I have decided not to press charges.
Please release him and let him go.”
The CSO was stunned.
“Sir, are you sure?
Why do you want to let this criminal go?
He deserves to rot in jail!”
The MD smiled, “yes he deserves to rot
in jail- that’s a way to look at it.
But I just took a different view of the
whole issue and I decided to let it go”
“Which other view is that sir?”
“I have just spent 2 million to teach
a staff not to steal again”
“Hmmmm… I just hope you won’t
regret this sir”
Mr. Felix was stunned.
Not only was the MD releasing him,
he was also restoring him to his position
and writing off the debt!
“I will be eternally grateful to you sir!”
“Don’t worry- go and steal no more”,
the MD said.
The CSO was not impressed.
To him, once a crook, always a crook.
“My eyes are on you, Felix!”
he warned as the cuffs were removed
from his hands…
A week later, the CSO called the MD.
“Sir, there’s a situation here in the staff
canteen you may need to come see.
It has to do with Felix…”
The MD was a bit embarrassed.
He hoped Mr. Felix had not been caught
stealing again. He knew the CSO was
not impressed with his benevolence when
he let Felix off the hook. It was as if the
CSO had made it his personal agenda to
prove him wrong. He reluctantly left his
desk and went down to the canteen…
He opened the door and froze:
Mr. Felix was torturing a fellow staff and
he was placing a call over to the police
to get him arrested. He was oblivious
the CSO and the MD were by the door,
Other staff were pleading with Mr. Felix
to be lenient with Mr. Ubani who he was
torturing, but he would have none of that.
“He owes me money and he must pay!
The money was due 3 months ago and
I can’t take it anymore! He MUST pay me,
else he rots in jail!”
“How much does Ubani owe you, Felix?”
Felix froze. He recognized the MD’s voice.
He turned and saw the MD standing there
with the CSO looking at him. His eyes were
practically penetrating into his entire being.
“G-g-g-g-ood m-m-m-orning S-s-s-ir…”
“I owe him 2 thousand naira sir!”
Mr. Ubani cried. “Get up, Ubani.
Don’t worry, I’ll pay Felix off for you.”
Mr. Ubani got up and scampered out of
“Thank you sir!” he whispered as he
walked past the MD.
The MD turned to Mr. Felix. “You wicked
ingrate! You thief! Just last week,
I forgave you for stealing goods from my
company worth 2 million naira.
I got you arrested, but you pleaded and
I let you off the hook. Shouldn’t you have
done same for Ubani?”
In that moment, the police came in.
“Good day, gentlemen. We got a call to come
arrest someone for a crime. Who placed the
call and who is the criminal here?”
“The MD looked up. It was the same police
officers that came a week earlier to arrest
Mr. Felix. How ironic…
“Good day, officers. Thank you for coming.
Mr. Felix made the call, and he IS the criminal
that needs arrest!” Mr. Felix did not know
what to say.
The head of the police officers was surprised.
“You mean he called us to come arrest him?
In my 20 years as a police officer,
I have never seen or heard where a criminal
calls for his own arrest.”
The CSO smiled wryly, “there is always a
first time, officer” he said, as the handcuffs
were clipped on Mr. Felix’s wrists and he was
led off to the patrol vehicle.
As he was pushed into the car, the last words
he heard were “Rot In Jail!”
He looked up and saw Mr. Ubani laughing at him…