Last week, on April 14, 2021, Bernard (Bernie) Lawrence Madoff died. He was 82 years old. Sadly, very few, if any, mourned his passing.
Known for his Midas touch, the disgraced former chairman of the NASDAQ stock market and investment guru, swindled thousands of unwitting investors and charities out of an estimated $17.5 billion dollars. The real number may never be known. He destroyed countless retirements and caused irreparable harm. Eventually, his disgraced son took his own life.
In 2009, a Federal District Judge sentenced Madoff to 150 years in prison. That is where he died.
The mention of Bernie’s name has become synonymous with greed, deception, and destruction. He will always be remembered as the mastermind of largest Ponzi scheme in history. This got me thinking.
We remember Adolf Hitler as the ultimate villain, Abraham Lincoln as the Great Emancipator, Alexander the Great as the empire builder, George Washington as the first president of the democratic experiment, George Patton as the conquering general, Pol Pot as a mass murderer, Leonardo da Vinci as the great mind, Rosa Parks as the spark for the civil rights movement, Judas as the betrayer of Jesus, the list goes on and on……
Like both the good and bad people throughout history, each of us will be remembered. We will be remembered by the mark we leave on this world.
This mark is made by the choices we make, the language we use, and the causes we enable. History shows that some made choices to bring healing and wholeness while others made choices that were self-serving, self-consuming, and self-defeating.
We are defined by the choices we make. Ultimately, these choices come down to serving God or serving self.
As Joshua stood before the tribes of Israel, he told them it was time to make their choice. He said, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)
History will remember Joshua as the one who chose to serve the Lord. I pray each of us does the same.
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, in this world filled with the noise of confusion, help me choose you. Guide my steps, thoughts, actions, and words. I pray I am remembered as someone who loved you above all else. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Choices matter. They define us. Choose wisely.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.