So, if you woke up today and found out your lottery ticket was one that won, what would you do different? The American dream…to get rich quick, and expend as little energy as possible to do so. That pretty much sums up the hopes people put in the lottery. The same can be said of any type of gambling (cards, casino, stock trading, new business ventures, etc), most of which I am not a fan. To be honest, for fun, I bought a ticket this past weekend and made some promises to people that they would get part of it, if I won. I would have honored my word, but it is easy to make promises with money you ‘might’ win. It is also interesting to talk about or consider what you would do if you did win (or earn) $1million, $1billion, or any amount of money. Would your values or priorities change at all? Would your relationship to God change?
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13
In my experience and from what I have heard in the media and comments by friends and others, the lottery basically promotes greed, jealousy, and false hope. Chances of winning are slim to none and those who play the most are usually those who can’t afford to play. You can list all the benefits gambling may provide in tax revenue, jobs, etc, but you may ask if the benefits outweigh the costs. It may be fun to dream, but what is it doing to your heart?
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. I Timothy 6:10
If you win the lottery, does that mean God likes you better than others? If you never win the lottery, what does that mean…either you are not good at math, or God is not happy with you? I had a friend state a prayer the other day that one of us would win the lottery. I am sure God heard lots of these prayers this past week, but is that a prayer we should even be saying? Really? Honestly, the lottery would likely be one of the last things God would use to bless you. God doesn’t need me winning lots of money to further His kingdom. If we put our hope in the riches of this world instead of God, who are we? A people who think, or at least act as though they don’t need God.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:23
Another question you should ask is ‘what would you do if someone gave you/you won $10,000?’ What you do with the small amount of money you have to steward, is indicative of what you will do with $1 billion. You may need more guidance, but your motives will be about the same. The same comparison can be made if you got promoted, or doubled your income somehow, would you be more or less wise in how you spend the money you have? The more disposable income you have, the more frivolous one tends to be. There are always exceptions, but that is the trend I see and have experienced firsthand.
If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. Luke 16:10
The truth is, if you have come to know the joy of salvation found in Christ, you are better off than having won any lottery. Is there anything you know of which is more valuable? The irony is that the most valuable thing we can find in this life is relatively one of the easiest things to obtain. When you come to the knowledge of God’s plan for you in Christ, you can simply repent, receive Him, and follow Him. While many people will spend their lives chasing after a little more money, they may miss out on the greatest riches available to them. Share this wealth! I would not trade my salvation for any amount of money. What is your price?
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Richly Blessed to be His,