Should Christians Engage In Gambling?
Gambling is related to placing your valuables, such as money or property, in a game that asks you to make a guess (you bet) of what an outcome is in an uncertain situation. If your guess is right at the end of the uncertainty you stand a chance of winning or making more money than you placed as stakes. If at the end of the uncertainty you your guess was wrong, then you loose all that you placed as stakes. The uncertainties include the outcome of a game being played, the point at which a rotating wheel will stop, the side on which a shaken and cast dice will land face up, etc. Gambling allures by promising quick and easy wealth. The big question is, should christians engage in gambling?
Gambling companies or business are multiplying everyday with assurance that it is easy to win. Some give small prizes to encourage people to gamble. Some show off individuals who have won big prizes. Gambling companies are advertised all over the mass communication channels. At any one moment, we are being convinced by advertisements that we can be rich if we just placed a bet on a current uncertainty. Gambling has cost people fortunes and some have committed suicide on losing their bet. Gambling has become a phenomenon we cant ignore in our society today. It is like the Casinos have been cascaded to include all and sundry. Therefore we are forced to ask, should christians engage in gambling?
1. Gambling is opposed to the biblical work ethics. It seeks to create wealth without working which is not biblical.
1st Thessalonians 4:11-12 “(11) and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, (12) so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.”
2 Thessalonians 3:7-12 “(7) For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, (8) nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. (9) It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. (10) For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. (11) For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. (12) Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.”
2. Before sin, God’s plan was that human beings work and find pleasure in working. As they see their efforts bear fruit, not on an instant as betting does, but progressively. Gambling seeks to go around God’s desire for a working humanity to one that seeks quick and easy wealth.
Genesis 2:15 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”
3. After sin, God said man shall eat by the sweat of their labour. Gambling seeks to avoid that sweating part, so that what could be attained by 20 years sweating, is attained by an instant not of smart thinking, but of guess work. In that sense gambling opposes God’s design for humanity.
Genesis 3:19 “By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
4. Gambling opposes the sabbath command that clearly states that, six days we should labour and do all our work. Gambling attempts to avoid labouring and doing of work. Gamblers even gamble on Sabbath and attend worship with their minds worried on whether their bet will win the day.
Exodus 20:8-11 “(8) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (9) Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, (10) but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. (11) For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
5. Gambling replaces God in life directly or indirectly. Gambling places ones future of success or failure on luck and probability, instead of placing it in God’s hands. Luck and probability are therefore becoming gods that give success or give failure.
Exodus 20:3-4 “(3) You shall have no other gods before me.”
“(4) You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”
6. Gambling opposes christian teaching of loving others more than your self and considering others better than you. Gambling has its success built on failure of many who are others in order to award the few winners.
Exodus 20:15 “You shall not steal.”
7. Gambling is theft. The gambling company steals from the gamblers knowing very well that only a few will win and the rest will lose the money and valuables to them. They entice the gamblers with a promise to win, then they rob them. The wining gambler steals from other gamblers who were made to believe they will win but didn’t. The losing gamblers was robbed out of their foolishness.
Exodus 20:15 “You shall not steal.”
8. Gambling is an industry built on a lie. A lie that promises everyone success but delivers it to only a few and the company. It is therefore a theft and a lie since, the company never loses in whatever gamble.
Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
9. Gambling is associated with negative things in society. It is associated with laziness, theft to facilitate gambling, drug abuse and immorality in casinos, careless disposal of hard earned property, suicides, depression, impoverishing practices, family disputes, etc. Gambling and its company is a warning that it is not safe to gamble, because by gambling we risk interacting with evils in society.
1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.””
2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
10.Gambling is addictive. Addictive means you lose control and cant stop even when you know that you are supposed to stop. By its addictiveness, gambling enslaves us to the love of money. Slavery is akin to worship, yet you cannot serve both God and money. We should only be addicted to righteousness, slaves of righteousness and not gambling.
Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Romans 6: 16 “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?”
Even if we are to think of gambling as good, it can only move from black to grey and not from black to white. Anything grey and uncertain should never be embraced as good, it is better safe than sorry, it is better to err in avoiding the grey than risk by embracing it. There are higher risks in gambling that can lead to losing faith, way of life, property and even life.
Proverbs 13:11 “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle,
but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.”
The Bible promises that when you gain wealth quickly it is not right, it is unbiblical and it will disappear at the same speed it came. Easy come, easy go. Gambling is about quick easy wealth, and quick easy wealth is not only unbiblical but unsustainable. Therefore the bible in essence is opposed to gambling. A christian should not gamble!
Related to gambling is dependence on free things. Seeking free donations and assistance by projecting yourself as being in a desperate situation. Waiting for free things is as addictive as gambling. Free things comprise of quick easy wealth that dwindles at the same speed it came. It takes maturity of faith and character to keep off free things. Free things oppose the biblical advise of don’t eat if you haven’t worked. Waiting for free things entails lying to the donor or gambling on whether they will give help or won’t give. A christian should not gamble in anyway.
A christian should gather little by little, which is a reference to working hard and seeing results progressively. Hard earned wealth is biblical and advisable to the christians, while, gambling is not for christians at all. A christian should not gamble!
May God save us from the allure of quick easy wealth of gambling and free things, and may He grant us patience and success in our daily efforts and struggles, in Jesus name, Amen!(c)firstname.lastname@example.org (do not delete any part of this post, including this. You are free to share these posts, but do not edit the authorship or content…thank you and be blessed!)