My "Worst" Sin: Losing $1,000,000!
What is my “worst” sin? All sin is serious (Num 32:23). All sin leads to death (Rom 6:23). So “worst” is relative; it does not in any way lessen the severity and seriousness of “lesser” sins or other sins.
I lost $1,000,000! Over 6 months in 2004, I gave 1.1 million USD in cash to a conman, believing he would invest the money, and give me 20+% interest rates yearly for the rest of my life. It is beyond reason and rationality. Also, I was the only victim! I was stupid beyond belief! Give cash…at a gas station…with no paper trail! Seriously?? That’s my “worst” sin.
Why did I do it? Greed? Pride? Self-sufficiency? Yes. But basically, I wanted to retire ASAP! I wanted to be a benevolent UBF man who can financially support poorer UBF people through out the world. But really, folks! Mainly I just wanted to retire, because I was just plain sick and tired of working as a doctor! (Now I am still working and will likely have to work for many more years! God is funny, isn’t He?)
Did I have that much cash to give? No. But being a doctor, I was able to borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars from 2 banks. I also borrowed significant cash from friends, and used up all the cash and savings we had.
Did you have to file for bankruptcy? I thought I would have to. But I worked 10 hours a day, 6 days a week for 2 years in order to pay off all my debts. My mom gave me $100,000, that helped me out tremendously. I have since paid her back.
What happened to the guy that conned you? I reported him to the FBI. They arrested him in 2006. He is now serving an 8 year sentence.
Did you get your money back? Some of it. When the FBI arrested him, they found some of the cash in the trunk of his car! This is nothing but God’s mercy, for I had resolved never to get anything back.
How did this sin affect you? It devastated and embarrassed my wife and 4 kids. To this day, I grieve because I brought upon them such shame and pain. I had totally dishonored my God, my wife, my children, my church and myself.
What did you learn from this sin? Many things. But amazingly, at this lowest point of my life, Jeremiah 31:3 came to me: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” I was truly stunned that when I could not even bear myself, God’s love for me did not change one iota! Knowing God’s unchanging love for me was literally the ONLY thing that kept me going.
Does your wife blame you? She should. I would not blame her if she did. But she never did. What can I say! It is a grace that is second only to the grace of Jesus.
What did you do during this time? I continued being a shepherd and Bible teacher, as though nothing was happening! I acted like a good Christian.
Now what? I live with the fear of God. Just recounting this story still gives me chills and shivers! But it is not a fear that drives me away from God, but a fear and trembling that draws me to cling to Jesus (Phil 2:12-13). Also, I live with the boldness, confidence and fearlessness, that even though my sins are too great, God’s grace is greater still.
That’s it? I have lots more sins and blind spots. I need the prayers and help of friends to help me see them. Confessing sin is surely what God expects from sinners. This quote might help:
Well may the accuser roar of sins that I have done;
I know them all and thousands more and Jehovah knoweth none.
Do you have sins you want to confess?