What Is Wrong With Gambling?

“An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.” (Proverbs 20:21)

“And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?” (Luke 12:42)

I was doing a download of some trial software recently, and a screen popped up on my monitor encouraging me to gamble. I was quite surprised, and shocked by what I saw. Here I was, visiting an allegedly “good” or at least “semi-respectable” site, but up comes this awful window in which I am being lured to spend my money needlessly and on a completely unethical practice like gambling. Of course, I hit the little “X” at the top right hand corner of my screen, but I was quite shocked at what I had seen. It was, quite simply, awful.

Then, a few minutes later, I decided to visit yet another “good” or at least “semi-respectable” site, and download some more software, and lo and behold, virtually the same gambling window popped up on my screen! I mean, these two sites are ‘big name’ sites (let’s just name them: MacFee and Tucows), and both have allowed this ‘on line’ gambling to take place++. I can hardly imagine the number of people that must be lured into actually spending money on this foolish practice, while they wait for their download to be completed.

What is wrong with gambling? Many things. For one, gambling is not born of love, for love does not defraud another person, and yet gambling defrauds individuals of their hard earned resources which God has given to them to spend on the necessities of life such as food and clothing. So gambling is wrong for this reason alone — it defrauds another of his money.

Gambling is also wrong because it promotes a lie which says, “You can eat without working.” But the Bible says, “that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) The idea that you can be happy in life without working is a myth concocted by the devil.

Jesus said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9:4) If we fail to follow Jesus’s example in this respect, we are just lying to ourselves. It’s either work, or be very disappointed in the end (come judgment time), because God expects us to work.

By “work” of course, I don’t necessary mean a typical “9-5” job. That is just one flavor of work. (A mother may and usually does, I’m convinced, work harder than the average 9-5 laborer, and she is indeed working and walking in the call that God has laid down for her life as she takes care of her children.)

Gambling is also wrong because it promotes the lust of the eyes — the desire for something that appears to promise fulfillment and happiness in life, but, which as we have already seen, cannot do that, because it promotes a lie of the devil. It is, therefore, a deception. John writes, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:16-17)

Where are you spending your hard earned money? On things that profit, or don’t profit? Did you know that God expects you to take the income that you have earned and “do business” with it for his kingdom until he returns? That is what a number of parables teach. The return that we make, we are to use to promote God’s kingdom.

To engage in gambling is to throw God’s money out the window. It is to invite the curse of poverty to come upon ourselves, not only because we are making an unwise investment with what God has given to us, but also because God, when he sees the way we are handling his money, will not be inclined to want to bless us. He’ll give it to others, instead.

Don’t be lured by Satan’s deception of gambling. Instead, put it into building God’s kingdom here on earth. In the end, you will be glad you did, as you see just how many people were blessed through your obedience to God in this all-important matter of financial stewardship.

May God bless you as you consider these things today.

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++ Note, I went back a while later and did another download. And the gambling pop-up was gone. It looks like maybe some people complained!