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When I Woke Up This Morning! (Gambling)

Hebrews 13:5-6 says: “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.”

It is appalling to witness so many people lose their possessions and financial security to gambling. This is a subject that won’t get much attention because of the billion-dollar industry that it has become. Some of us may remember the times when we could not even bring a deck of cards into the home. Our parents said it was a trick of the devil and a game as simple as bid whist could not be played. Now casinos are built in our back yards for convenience and pleasure. Once upon a time traveling to Delaware or New Jersey were the places to go for such activities. Now gambling is so convenient that the internet and sports betting offers all sorts of opportunities to take your money. You don’t even have to leave your home.

The Washington Times reports that sports gambling will reach an all- time high on Sunday, February 11, 2024 for Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.          

The American Gambling Association said 68 million Americans, 26% of the country’s adults, will bet on Sunday’s game. Bettors will wager more than $23 billion on Super Bowl LVIII, a 44% increase from 2023’s NFL championship.

My interest is not in the amount of money that will be generated from gambling, rather the negative impact it has on individuals and families. There is a severe danger in gambling, but gambling advertisements have attempted to normalize it. It is not uncommon to see Jamie Foxx or Peyton Manning talk about the latest deals at DraftKings or BETMGM. They are just two of the many superstars who influence people to wager bets.

There are horror stories regarding persons who consider themselves winners, but in the long run their purse strings are less than when they started gambling.                

I recently read an article that reported that life after winning the lottery may not remain so glamourous. Whether they win $500 million or $1 million, about 70 percent of lotto winners lose or spend all that money in five years or less. According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, 70% of lottery winners go bankrupt within a few years. Obtaining more money often leads to careless spending and the desire to get more money, and the greed can be destructive to the lives of winners and their families.    

Gambling is considered by many to be a menace to society and is a destructive tool that may even lead to addiction. Now that gambling has been legalized, you can almost bet on anything. It is my belief that Christians should refrain from gambling and should influence and encourage those who have become addictive to seek therapeutic help. The Bible doesn’t call gambling a sin, but it does warn against the love of money and get-rich-quick schemes.     

1 Timothy 6: 10 suggest we use wisdom as it relates to gambling: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” Hebrews 13:5-6 says: “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.”    

A conversation with a friend recently regarding this subject suggested the reason for gambling was not solely for the purpose of making money. They did it because it was fun and entertaining. More power to them.

There was a time when I worked in a little grocery store that sold lottery tickets. It always felt as if we were taking advantage of the hardworking people who visited the store every day to purchase tickets. A recent study showed that households in the lowest income bracket spend 13 percent of their household annual income on the lottery, in contrast to the highest earners, who spend 1 % of their income on the lottery (Bankrate survey, October 2019). The bottom line is those who can least afford to spend money on lottery tickets are often the culprit purchasing them.  

My advice is that we be cautious in getting too involved with the glamour of the Super Bowl. One thing I can guarantee you is this. My bank account will be the same on Monday after Super Bowl as it was the day before.

God bless and more power to the losers and winners.

Just my thoughts!

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About Genesis

Genesis Covenant Church is a non-denominational, faith-bearing church. We put our faith and trust in God in all that we do, exalting and worshipping Him. We believe in the Holy Trinity—The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as we create a climate of acceptance and Agape love.

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“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful and effective.”
James 5:16