Not Just A Game (#19)
Bible version used: NIV
LOTTERIES! HORSES! FOOTBALL!
It’s not just a game.
I once thought gambling was just a game. Then a friend committed suicide because of his despair over gambling debts. After that tragedy, I stopped gambling and began to pay attention to the research on our love-affair with gambling. I discovered some disturbing things.
State treasuries and casino owners are the winners. But almost everyone else loses.
You lose if you gamble because the odds are stacked against you. Lotteries compete for rent and food money with a false promise of instant wealth. People with no money to spare routinely buy lottery tickets from the local convenience store, unaware that the odds of winning are often worse than one in a million.
You lose even if you don’t gamble.
As gambling debts crush families, the cost of bankruptcies, foreclosures, welfare and food stamps trickles down to every taxpayer.
When I told my pastor what I had discovered, he showed me what the Bible says about wealth and happiness.
I learned that contentment is not found in wealth.
Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. Luke 12:15
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
1 Timothy 6:6-7
I learned to place my trust in God, not money.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life . . . Look at the birds of the air . . . your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
I learned that happiness comes when I seek the kingdom of God.
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
I learned to give back to God a portion of what he has given me.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Malachi 3:10
I found many other teachings in the Bible that help me in my daily life. If you would like to learn how to find this kind of happiness, visit a church where the Bible is thoroughly taught. You will be warmly welcomed.