A game of graft, greed and grief
By Charles Milton
Sword of the Lord
January 28, 2020
I heard about a mother who was afraid her young son would become a gambler like other members of their family. She prayed for him in his presence. She asked God that if he ever did gamble, please never let him win.
However, as the boy grew up, the lure of the gaming tables to which he had seen others go was greater enticement than he could bear. But day after day, as he placed his bets, he was a consistent loser. He never one time won so much as a penny.
After tasting the bitterness of defeat so often, the boy finally decided he would quit. He had been overwhelmed by the prayers of his godly mother. The voice of her earnest intercession seemed always to be audible in the quietness of his soul.
Gambling and Stealing are Similar Sins
Gambling and stealing spring from a similar mentality. In both cases, there is a selfish desire to take something from someone else without labor or proper compensation.
Gambling in all its forms takes an undue advantage of human weakness. It is never right to profit from the vulnerability of another. The gambler, in his foolish lust, parts with his money in exchange for a reckless promise. The hope that lies within the heart of a gambler may have begun in innocence, but it will soon progress to desperation.
In normal business dealings, taking money, while giving nothing in return constitutes fraud or outright stealing. Gambling is a type of fraud molded into a game complete with razzle-dazzle and plenty of hype.
But no amount of beautiful promotion and legal fast talk changes the real nature of what it is.
If a person is really concerned about the welfare of others, he will not steal from them. Whether it be legal or an illegal ploy, a game which takes money from people without giving full measure in return is an illegitimate scam.
The temptation to gamble appeals to the selfishness and the greediness within a carnal heart. It takes people to a lower echelon of living. There is yet to be any evidence that gambling takes people to a higher plane.
Gambling and Christians are Not Compatible
Sometimes Christians pray to win at some kind of gambling game. What a terrible misuse of the privilege of prayer! Surely such praying borders on blasphemy.
A Christian should learn to trust God to provide for each of his needs. We should never sidestep God’s plan for our lives. We should remember that work is a part of God’s design for us. Idleness so often corrupts and greed is never satisfied.
Abundance of riches does not generate happiness nor usefulness. Money does not bring peace or blessing. God wants to do so many wonderful things for us, but he certainly will not use such a devious ploy as gambling.
In Ephesians 4:28 God tells us to work so we will have something to give. It seems that God wants his children to be givers rather than takers. He orders us to work six days and rest one.
There is no indication in the Bible that God is pleased when a person sets out to get money through a scheme in which there is no exchange of goods or services. God is not pleased when one person loses and another person goes away with a bag full of winnings simply because of a chance each of them took.
Give, but Don’t Gamble
If a charity is a worthy cause, you give to it and expect nothing in return. You should consider giving on the merits of whatever charity you wish to sponsor. Your giving should not be based on a greedy desire to win a prize.
Some people spend a lot of money at bingo, raffles and sweepstakes. Often it is money they cannot afford to lose. Foreclosures and bankruptcy escalate where there is widespread gambling.
Families many times are deeply hurt because hard-earned money for basic necessities is lost on a foolish game. It is never right to jeopardize your family by wasting your substance in gambling.
“Oh,” they say, “the jackpot is there and someone is going to win it!”
That may be true, but for every winner there are multiplied thousands, if not millions, who lose.
The Choice is Best That Doesn’t Take a Chance
A Christian who thinks like a gambler is operating with a thief’s mentality. Many of the state operated gambling operations have been voted in by narrow margins. If Christians would vote with biblical convictions, those votes might have had different results.
Many members of my family have been hurt by gambling, but I am very thankful that at least one boy quit because of his mother’s prayers.
You see, the boy of whom I spoke was my father. One of the kindest and greatest things my grandmother ever did for me was to pray that prayer for my daddy.
This article was first published in the Sword of the Lord newspaper, which is based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Sword of the Lord Publications also publishes Christian books, pamphlets, and Gospel tracts. The Sword of the Lord has over 100,000 subscribers. To visit Sword of the Lord website, click here
The author of this article Charles Milton lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.