Gambling or Gardening
Last year people won more than one billion dollars playing poker. And casinos made twenty seven billion just by being around those people.
88% of Americans gamble in some form.
95% lose more than they bet.
Winners get back less than half of what they bet.
No one in his or her right mind would invest in anything with such a loss record.
The typical odds against winning the lottery are five-ten million to one. A person is seven times more likely to be hit by lighting than win the lottery. If a person buys fifty lottery tickets every week, he will win on the average once in every five thousand years.
In short, statisticians conclude that the chances of winning the lottery are about the same if you don’t play!
The Bible also has some strong words about gambling and get rich quick schemes: “Don’t gamble on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, hocking your house against a lucky chance.” Proverbs 22:26(The Message). “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.” 1 Timothy 6:9.
There are some big problems with gambling.
- Gambling implies our dissatisfaction with God’s provision. Gambling implies that God is not enough. “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
- Gambling is sustained through exploitation. For one person to win, many others must lose. It profits from the misfortune of others. Does this follow the way of Christ or the way of this world?
- Gambling promotes luck instead of hard work. “He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.” Proverbs 28:19
There’s a Godly alternative to gambling: Gardening!
Investing is kind of like growing a garden.
- When you invest money, you invest in places where you research and know you will get a return in time. Like knowing the best soil and conditions to grow tomatoes. “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
- When you invest money, you are placing your money in a place that can provide a stream of income. In gardening you are working to feed your family and friends. In gambling you are throwing good money at terrible odds hoping that luck might return something in your favour.
- Investors and gardeners are risk averse, while gamblers are risk-seeking. Like when investing, you want to plant your seeds in such a way that they have the best chance of bringing a harvest. There is always a risk involved but for the most part investors take risks they should take, gamblers take risks they should not.
- When you invest money, you profit along with the other people you invest with. Gambling doesn’t seek to profit with others, it just seeks to profit from others. Gardening or investing builds an appreciation of consistently doing small things right to reap a benefit in time, and many people benefit.
- You really appreciate the work that goes into growing a tomato. “Wealth from gambling quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows.” Proverbs 13:11
So where will you invest your seeds? Gambling or gardening? Trusting luck? Or trusting God?
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