I choked up yesterday as the indictment against Paul Manafort hit the airwaves. While I managed to hold back actual tears, I still grieved at this eternal truth:
But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. I Timothy 6.9,10
Evidently, Mr. Manafort spent millions of laundered money on designer clothes, cars, real estate, antiques, and home improvements. You can find a chart of his spending here. And if you’ve ever allowed sin to ruin your life, read it and weep.
Sin – including “white collar” sin – leads to pain and regret that all of us can relate to. Even if we’ll never understand the depth of Manafort’s greed, we do understand the depth of our own selfishness, anger, and jealousy. Maybe we don’t lust after Range Rovers, but we do lust for sex or our neighbor’s house. We’re just like him.
Sin has consequences, of course. Mr. Manafort may eventually trade his four homes for one prison cell. But the good news on this Reformation Day is that forgiveness is free. I pray that Paul Manafort and his family discover Christ’s love in all of this. They’ll need it in the days ahead.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God
is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.