Madoff and Me

I watched with interest yesterday the reaction after the sentencing of Bernard Madoff, the man who bilked people out of billions of dollars in the greatest pyramid scheme in history.

I want to make it clear that I am in no way condoning the acts he committed or anything like that. What a way to start a essay! I heard and saw lots of people condemming him, saying the 150 year sentence he recieved was not enough. Many of the people who fell prey to his theft spoke about their feelings at his conviction. Some of them were personal family friends of the Madoff's and almost all of them lost most if not all of their retirement savings. He is the greatest thief in the history of the world, and he deserved the sentence he got.

My point in all of this is how quick we are to rank peoples sins. Madoff makes me feel better about myself because of how big and awful his sin was. My sins never affect that many people, never cost families their retirement, and never are reported on CNN. However, scripture is clear that all have sinned, that sin is sin, and is an offense to God no matter how great or small.

My sins seem less to me than Madoffs, although I am certain that words I have spoken to people can devestate their life just as badly as losing their retirement could have. My small sins can have just as great as impact. We are all jacked up, however some of us are in ways that everyone can see, like Madoff, or Jon and Kate Gosselin. Most of us are messed up in ways that only the closest to us can see and are impacted by.

I pray for myself that my heart is broken by my sin no matter how great or small, that anything that pushes me away from God hurts me as much as it hurts God. Don't let yourself get caught up in comparing yourself with the public people around you. The only standard we have to live up to is God's.

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