I wrote this post in 2009 and with all the excitement for today’s Mega Millions I had to re-post it…
Growing up I remember my dads bulging wallet full of pink and white slips of paper. Not sure what they were I asked him about them. He told me they were Lotto tickets that he played in the past but didn’t win any money from. My question was, so why are you keeping them? He didn’t have a response. In the office today I saw one of my co-workers come in the door with her Lotto ticket for the Mega Millions here in NYC and that sparked a bit of discussion surrounding Lottery and gambling.
As a Christian I’ve always heard the pastor or speaker talk about playing the lotto or ‘numbers’ (back in the day my aunts and uncles would play the “numbers” my mom would always say “I can spend my dollar on a 16oz Pepsi, I’m not wasting my money on no numbers!”) and say it was a sin. So I came back to my desk and found a really good article regarding gambling in answer to the question “Is gambling a sin? What does the Bible say about gambling?”
The Bible does not specifically condemn gambling, betting, or the lottery. The Bible does warn us, however, to stay away from the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs; Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you ). Scripture also encourages us to stay away from attempts to “get rich quick” (Proverbs 13:11 Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.; Proverbs 23:5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.; Ecclesiastes 5:10 Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.). Gambling most definitely is focused on the love of money and undeniably tempts people with the promise of quick and easy riches.
What is wrong with gambling? Gambling is a difficult issue because if it is done in moderation and only on occasion, it is a waste of money, but it is not necessarily evil. People waste money on all sorts of activities. Gambling is no more or less of a waste of money than seeing a movie (in many cases), eating an unnecessarily expensive meal, or purchasing a worthless item. At the same time, the fact that money is wasted on other things does not justify gambling. Money should not be wasted. Excess money should be saved for future needs or given to the Lord’s work, not gambled away.
Interesting right? Well I went on reading and found this even more compelling…
Can lotto/lottery proceeds please God? Many people claim to be playing the lottery or gambling so that they can give the money to the church or to some other good cause. While this may be a good motive, reality is that few use gambling winnings for godly purposes. Studies show that the vast majority of lottery winners are in an even worse financial situation a few years after winning a jackpot than they were before. Few, if any, truly give the money to a good cause. Further, God does not need our money to fund His mission in the world. Proverbs 13:11 says, “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” God is sovereign and will provide for the needs of the church through honest means. Would God be honored by receiving donated drug money or money stolen in a bank robbery? Of course not. Neither does God need or want money that was “stolen” from the poor in the temptation for riches.
First Timothy 6:10 tells us, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Hebrews 13:5 declares, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” Matthew 6:24 proclaims, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
So my lovely readers, what say you? Do you gamble or play the lotto? Do you feel like Mrs. Val and get sick when you don’t play and your ‘number’ hits? Has the lotto become an essential part of your life?
Hit me back and let me know your thoughts.
Until next time…