While scanning some of my daily news sources I came across a headline that caught my eye and proceeded to read the article. The article began by talking about the new comedy film titled “Lottery Ticket” featuring the rapper known as Bow Wow. I have seen the trailer for this movie and it does look pretty cute and entertaining. I can tell by the trailer the movie pokes fun at the silly and ridiculous scenarios folks who win millions in the lottery get themselves into. But when those same scenarios occur in real life it is quite sad. I’m sure we’ve all read some stories about folks who win millions and five years later have to file for bankruptcy or worse end up homeless or dead. The age old wisdom says that what is in the heart remains in the heart. Money does not change it. The same article points to this heart flaw by reporting some statistics of past lottery winners. These winners / losers have the same heart flaw as the sinful servant in the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30), only worse because they tend to lose it all. There is a difference though. The talents in the parable were given to the servants by their Lord to invest. The lottery winners are given the money based on the purchase of a ticket with the same numbers as the lot that is cast or the modern-day randomly selected batch of numbers. I liked how the author of the article concludes the article with a quote from an economics professor that reads:
If you’re one of those people who fantasizes that winning the lottery will fix your financial woes, it’s time to stop dreaming and get a real handle on your money.
This quote got me to thinking again about financial stewardship and what the scriptures have to say about lotteries and gambling. Now the bible does not explicitly say “Do not gamble”, and I’m sure some folks will question this by referring to the disciples casting lots to choose the replacement of Judas. God spoke to the apostles through that method to determine His will in the matter. The only means of financial gain the bible encourages is through hard work, inheritance, or by wise investment. Grace To You resources presents five reasons gambling is wrong.
- Because it denies the reality of God’s sovereignty (by affirming the existence of luck or chance)
- Because it is built on irresponsible stewardship (tempting people to throw away their money)
- Because it erodes a biblical work ethic (by demeaning and displacing hard work as the proper means for one’s livelihood)
- Because it is driven by the sin of covetousness (tempting people to give in to their greed)
- Because it is built on the exploitation of others (often taking advantage of poor people who think they can gain instant wealth)
My bride and I have been attending a series of seminars on how to properly use our resources for financial gain. This article and the thoughts it invokes, bring the principles we’re learning, and the principles taught in scripture about stewardship to the forefront of my praying. I pray that anyone reading this post will consider that God owns it all and ask yourself, as I will, would He approve of the way your are using those resources He has entrusted you with. I am by no means a great example, but by God’s grace and wisdom I am learning. Stewardship Rawks!!