Gambling and Christianity

It’s no secret that the bible depicts gambling as a highly frowned-upon act. There are no sections in the holy book that condone the behaviors of what gambling can bring out in people, or that of the risks tied into such activities which ultimately lead to one of several destructive paths or tendencies i.e. addiction, debt, theft, fraud and deception, serenity, intoxication – the list could probably go on for quite some time. We wanted to look at the real nitty gritty side to gambling and at one point the book of life decided it is not something which fits in line with the good of humanity.

Although the bible does not directly address gambling, possibly one of the most famous quotes listed is:

“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” – Ecclesiastes 5:10

We’re sure many people can relate to the above, particularly if they have got addicted to gambling in the past and either lost everything, or the people they love as a result. Throughout many pages of the bible, it stresses the importance of earning money in an honest way, as opposed to relying on chance. This makes complete sense even in today’s age, because luck, as well as money, is not persistent – and people are often disappointed when expectations aren’t met.

“For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” – Timothy 6:10

But gambling really does come down to one’s perspective and interpretation of what “gambling” could be defined as. Of course, the act of risk-taking is sometimes considered a good and healthy way to live life, providing it is carried out in moderation and tied into a moral purpose. An example of this could be, someone who is stuck in a job which they hate, but deep down they have a desire to release a best-selling novel or make a career in the arts. So, where is the risk in this scenario?

If that person has a wife and kids to support, leaving a secure job on the cuff like that is certainly a gamble. It’s not just you at risk but your family as well. On the latter, if this person has no family or financial ties, a move like this could be very beneficial to his well-being and future prospects.

He, ultimately has nothing to lose right? So is he actually gambling based on that fact?

We can’t tell you whether there is a right or wrong involved, but a bit of common sense and logic could indicate that the second set of circumstances is probably “a safe bet” (forgive the pun), whereas, the latter certainly poses some cause for concern.

“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.” – Hebrews 13:5

Of course, there are many instances where money is used for the greater good; to fund medical research, economic advancements, safety for the masses, and charitable causes; however, it can also be used in conjunction with many negative things, such as war, violence, drugs, prostitution. Like yin and yan, light and dark, money also has 2 sides which can both be skewed in a society so conditioned into thinking that “money makes the world go round”.

When it comes to how an individual chooses to not just use, but pursue money – acquiring it through hard work and labor is not only beneficial to society, but a person’s core values in life can also have a direct influence on the core values and motives of the people close to them.

If a child is brought up in an environment where selfishness and greed are their main principles in life, naturally that child will see this as the right thing to do as well. Whereas, if a child is brought into the world out of love and respect; taught that the world doesn’t owe them a living and they must push to achieve their dreams and desires – that provides more of a security blanket to that person in the long-term over a quick-fix of money, or a quest to accumulate as much wealth as possible. After all, “money comes and goes, but unconditional love is priceless”.

“Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” – Luke 12:15

Conclusion

Gambling comes down to your own discretion, not what a book says. Only you know the risks involved and are aware of the consequences it could have on you and the people around you. Although money does not solve the world’s problems, it can certainly take some of the stresses out of daily life if you have ‘just enough’ of it. What one person defines as enough, could be the complete opposite to someone else – but if both of those individuals are fully aware of both the pros and cons of what money can bring and they choose to use it responsibly – where is the real harm in that?

Laurie Sumner

Laurie Sumner is an avid slots player and online gaming enthusiast. Originally hailing from Wisconsin, Laurie rounded up the wagons and headed west to Arizona where she studied hotel and restaurant management before landing a great job in Las Vegas. Today Laurie spends her time teaching what she learned from nearly two decades in the Las Vegas hotel industry and writing articles on the games she loves.