Why I Will Never Play the Lottery Again

As a follower of Christ, I’ve always known that playing the lottery is a sin. But as a big fan of the show How the Lottery Changed My Life I have desired to play the lottery and now have a hard time seeing the wrong in it (except when parents use their paychecks on the lottery instead of feeding their babies or paying their bills).

Well, after the most recent Powerball on 5/18/13 for $600 million dollars, I gave in and played on behalf of my mom. It’s amazing how once you sin, you realize why God didn’t want you to do it. Needless to say, my mom now owes me $2.

Praise God for His great mercy and grace! In Deuteronomy, a book in the Old Testament of the Bible, God tells us that the reason He gives us commands and regulations are for our good always (Love always looks out for the object of Its affection). Now, I clearly understand why we shouldn’t play the lottery and why I will never play for myself or anyone else again. Before, I was believing it was wrong by faith, now I know it’s wrong from experience. Oh how I wish I never purchased that ticket. Not only because it’s worthless, but because it shows God that I didn’t trust Him or believe His word at that time.

Someone always wins the lottery, so it must be good, right? The truth is God doesn’t give us rules and regulations to restrict us, He gives them to us to protect us. The reason I will never play the lottery is as follows: People play because they have a need or a great desire that needs fulfilling. It seems as though playing the lottery is the only way they can even come close to having those needs and secret desires fulfilled. They can use the seemingly infinite winnings of the lottery to meet those needs and desires. But the lottery is just that, a lottery. It has no feelings or emotions and does not care about you or your needs. The lottery is unloving and greedy. It doesn’t care about your bills, it just wants your money. The lottery forces you to guess the right numbers in order to have your needs met. If you guess wrong, not only are your dreams not fulfilled, but you lose money that could have been used in a transaction that would have guaranteed a return (i.e. buying candy if you bought one lotto ticket or buying an iPad if you bought hundreds of lotto tickets).

The lottery is literally anti god – it represents the opposite of God and His nature. Meaning, it’s the complete opposite of who God is and who He wants to be in your life. Our God has feelings and emotions. Our God loves us so much that He, died for us -even gave everything of Himself to meet our needs and promises to give us not only our desires, but the secret desires of heart (Psalms 37, Psalms 20, Philippians 4) – and we don’t have to guess the right numbers in order for Him to do it. All we have to do is believe that He is. He is what? Everything you need (just like you believe the lottery is everything you need to live your dream life). Are you starting to see how the lottery is an anti god, an idol god? It wants your money, hasn’t done anything for you, and cares absolutely nothing about you! It reminds me of the golden calf the Israelites built in the Old Testament. Everyone gave a portion of their gold to making the calf. Then they stared at the calf in awe of how huge and filled with gold it had become to the point that they worshipped it and celebrated it hoping it would in turn bless them. Didn’t you do that when you bought your lotto ticket -sing a little tune, pray a little prayer to it, tell it what you want it to do for you, imagining your life made perfect by it? The Israelites failed to realize that the reason the gold calf was so huge and awesome was because of their own resources pooled together to make the calf! Similarly, there wouldn’t be a huge $600 million dollar lottery for us to cast our hopes and dreams on if we hadn’t pooled our money together to make it!

Back to God, the one whom playing the lottery takes our eyes off of. He takes on the role of a Father, loving us as His children, affectionately caring for us, knowing our needs in advance, and meeting those needs simply by us asking and having faith, not wishing like in playing the lottery. He doesn’t force us to guess the right numbers or guess his thoughts. He doesn’t meet one person’s need, then make everyone else walk away empty-handed until another year. Nor is He impersonal like the lottery, or self-centered. The lottery doesn’t care about your needs. Its doesn’t care about your babies needing food. Nor does it care how long and hard you’ve worked and how you need a break in life. It only cares about one thing His getting your coins! Jesus says come to him all who are weary and tired; He promises to give you that break in life you need. As a matter of fact, He has already lived life for you and says that you can now live your life through Him – in His strength, in His victory, in His peace, and in His riches!  The Bible says we can’t serve Mammon and God. The lottery is that Mammon. And your $2 is a tithe to that Mammon! You give it $1 or $2 and it gives you a ticket that may or may not be of value. Do you really want to serve a god like that?! If you give the real God your tithe (10%) the way you faithfully tithe to the lotto, He guarantees you a promise (Malachi 3). He gives you a note you can bank on! You can take that note and cash it into the heavenly banking system using your faith. Faith is like a blank check and the promises of God are the dollar amount the check is good for. Cash your check, boo!

Do yourself a favor, the next time you decide to play the lottery, take that money and buy yourself a hamburger or gas for your car. It will be money well spent. Let the lottery god work and earn his own money, the way we do.

P.S. And as far as the lottery funding education, the majority of the people playing the lottery can’t fund their own education, so it’s literally the poor taking care of the poor. Rich people don’t play the lottery. They know the value of money and use it on projects that guarantee a return. How many Bentleys have you seen in the lottery line at the gas station? A way to amass wealth is by doing what wealthy people do. Wealthy people stay at home during the lottery and think up million dollar ideas. Not $2 fantasies. Let go and let God.