Unless you have been under a rock this week you have seen or heard the hoopla about the Mega Millions Lottery. Today it was announced that three lucky people are splitting that 640 million! Wow. I didn’t win then again I didn’t buy a ticket. My husband told me last Monday that he was taking me out-of-town today for my birthday and today he says we are going to the Imperial Palace Casino this afternoon. It is about a two-hour drive from where we live. He likes to play cards. Now, I don’t gamble much. It is not that I have a moral reason against it, I just think that I could give that money away to a charity and it will be better used. We haven’t been to a casino in years, so this should be fun.
If you are saying to yourself, “Wait a minute isn’t this woman a Christian?” Well I am, stay with me here. Gambling in itself is not a sin, it is the greed, the love of money that we are warned about. When we go to a casino we will take a limited amount of money each, the credit/debit cards stay home. We usually go out to dinner here at home on date night and maybe a movie, when we do we spend about 150 bucks. I imagine that we won’t take much more than that to the casino. A night out with the hubby, for fun!
The problem comes when people obsess over gambling and become greedy. It is the love of money that the Bible warns against. Actually, if you do the biblical research it is the indulgence of anything, the obsession over any thing other than God that is the sin. It is the excessiveness of the thing that we are warned against not the thing itself. It is the drunkenness of wine, but not wine. Jesus turned water into wine. It is the love of money, not the money. It is the idol worship that is wrong, not the thing.
Anytime we place something in a high place in our lives and create a potential for a replacement for God then we are in trouble. It doesn’t mater if it is money, booze, sex, drugs, our family, job, hobby, gambling, a famous person, a book, a movie, a trilogy of either a book or a movie…anything we give high importance to can replace God. Any of those things can be a god in our lives, an idol.
Exodus 20:3 NKJ “You shall have no other gods before Me.
There are other verses that tell us that our God is a jealous God. So remember, have fun with whatever you like, but don’t let it control you or take control over you. It is easy to allow things to escalate to a place of importance in your life. Guard that place in your life and heart for God alone.
Today I may spin a few quarters in a slot machine and my husband will play a few hands of black jack. If we win any money we have decided we will give it to my church. It’s been in the devils hands long enough!