Should I Gamble?

December 6, 2015

                                    Should I Gamble?

If we win at gambling, it will be because we were lucky.  One of the definitions of luck is chance. Gambling isn’t a science.  There is no certainty in it.

In the Bible there is no verse that directly prohibits us from gambling.  There are, however, biblical principles that give Christians good reason to think that it isn’t the will of God for them.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.   In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”  When we buy lottery tickets we are putting our trust in chance; not in the Lord.

When we buy lottery tickets our chance of winning is infinitesimal.  Let us suppose that 10,000 people have bought one of those lottery tickets.  Only one is the lucky number.  That means that you have one chance in 10,000 of being the winner.  Proverbs 14:8 says, “The folly of fools is deceit.”  The gambler is often deceived.  He wants to believe that he will be the winner when the odds are against him.  Once we were eating with a friend at a restaurant in Argentina.  A boy selling lottery tickets approached our friend and tried to sell him a ticket.  Our friend acted like he was ignorant about what it was.  The boy explained to him that if the number on the ticket was drawn he would get a sum of money.  Our friend said to him, “Why don’t you keep it and get that money?  I think you need it more than I do.”

Before buying a lottery ticket we would do well to ask ourselves, “If I should win, where would that money be coming from?”  The truth is that a good portion would come from the pockets of losers.  Those who run the lottery don’t draw out a number before they have sold enough tickets to cover the cost of paying the wages of those who work for them, and still have a lot left for themselves.

Gambling can be addictive.  Some gamblers are so obsessed with winning that they can’t stop.  Some have been known to end in poverty.  They don’t have the will power to stop.  Romans 12:21 says, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Those who play the lottery need to stop and ask themselves, “How much have I won?”  If they were to keep track of how much they have spent on the lottery and compare that to how much they have won, they would see that it isn’t profitable.  Once in a while they may win $100.00.  That just spurs them on to think that they will win big the next time.  If gamblers would be honest, most would have to say, “I have lost more than I have gained.” Many would have to say, “I haven’t won anything.”

We need to be prudent about how we spend the money God entrusts to us.  If there is some left over at the end of the month, what do you do with it?  It is always wise to have a nest egg for unexpected needs.  We need to keep putting some aside for retirement.  If some is put in investments, you need to seek good counsel about where to invest it.

In the Bible we read that there were times when chance was used, but not as a way of winning.  It was a way of making a decision.  Before doing it, they consulted with God about it.  It was more like flipping a coin when the answer had to be either or.  Numbers 26:55 says the land was divided by lot to the children of Israel.  In Acts 1:26 they cast lots to determine who should replace Judas as a disciple.

Sometimes non-profit organizations use something like a lottery to motivate their constituents to contribute to their cause.  Is that gambling?  It all depends on your motive for contributing to their cause.  If it is in hopes of winning the prize, then it is gambling.  If it is because you want to contribute to their cause, and would do it even if there was no prize, then it isn’t gambling.

Usually if someone wins the lottery he or she wants everyone to know about it.  If it is someone you know you may think, “Perhaps I could also win.” Unfortunately, the thousands who lose money on the lottery are apt to be ashamed.  They would rather that no one knew about it.  While the winner is rejoicing, losers all around them are lamenting.  The way to win at the lottery is to not invest in it.  Then you will be sure to come out ahead because you haven’t lost anything.

What do you think?  If you have comments or questions you can send them to us at the following address: rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

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