Is gambling wrong, and if so, why?
Suggested Daily Reading: Genesis 3:17-19 and Exodus 20:9-11
God works. Angels work. God also blessed mankind with work in the Paradise (Gen. 2:15). After man’s fall into sin, sweat and painful problems and difficulties (thorns and thistles) entered all of life, including our work. Yet God still commands us to work (Ex. 20:9-11).
Gambling is wrong. Why? One of the blessings received from honest work is profit or income for oneself and one’s family. Gambling, however, perverts God’s plan. When someone gambles they want to get money without working. This person wants the blessings (the financial income) but to avoid the means God appointed for this (honest work). Gambling attempts to bypass the sweat, thorns and thistles associated with work, and to get rich without work.
Honest work and earning income is according to God’s plan. In so doing, God wants us to employ our talents in a way that honors Him, benefits others, and serves to provide for ourselves. We are called to develop and use our talents in these ways. We are not to be lazy and waste our talents (Matt. 25:14-30). Gambling is a sinful attempt by people to do things their way and not according to God’s will and word. Gambling is purely self-focused and it does not seek to honor God or to serve the benefit of others through honest work.
God also instructs us not to be wasteful, but to use our money wisely and prudently. Gambling does not do this. It wastes money “hoping on good luck” while the odds are stacked against the person who gambles. There is a reason why governments make millions of dollars of profit from lotteries and gambling casinos are so luxurious! We are not to be reckless with our money that God has provided through our work, or from that which others have given us, i.e. an inheritance (Luke 15:12-13). Gambling is wrong because it wastes money recklessly and foolishly.
We often limit our thinking about gambling to that of money, but how else can we sinfully gamble with other matters in life? Why is it sinful for someone to gamble with a marriage relationship by marrying an unbeliever, simply hoping that things will work out OK because there is a chance that it will? How can we gamble with our lives? How can we be sinfully lazy in respect to our salvation, and just hope for the best? Are you gambling? If so, how?