Is Playing the Lottery a Sin?

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James Lasher

With the current Mega Millions jackpot reaching $1.25 billion, the topic of what one would do with such a large windfall is in many peoples’ thoughts.

The subject of whether Christians should play the lottery is one that has sparked much debate and contemplation within the Christian community over the years.

The Bible provides wisdom and insights that can guide believers in making an informed decision on this matter.

Here are four biblical principles to help guide people on the matter:

Stewardship and Contentment:

One essential biblical principle is that of stewardship, recognizing that all things belong to God, and we are called to manage His resources responsibly. The Bible urges believers to be content with what they have and to avoid covetousness. In 1 Timothy 6:6-10, the apostle Paul writes:

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out. If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with these things. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and harmful lusts, which drown men in ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evil. While coveting after money, some have strayed from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Participating in the lottery can be driven by a desire to become rich quickly, which may lead to discontentment with one’s current circumstances and foster an unhealthy love for money.

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Trusting in God’s Provision:

The Bible encourages Christians to place their trust in God’s provision rather than relying on chance or luck. Proverbs 3:5-6 says:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”

Instead of seeking to improve their situation through gambling, believers are called to trust that God will provide for their needs and guide them in their financial decisions.

Avoiding Temptation and Addiction:

The Bible warns against indulging in activities that can lead to temptation or addiction. In 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul emphasizes:

“‘All things are lawful to me,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be brought under the power of anything.”

Playing the lottery can lead to addictive behaviors and harmful consequences. As Christians, we are encouraged to pursue activities that build up and edify rather than enslave us.

Honesty and Good Stewardship of Resources:

Gambling, including playing the lottery, can sometimes be seen as a get-rich-quick scheme, but it can also foster dishonesty or a lack of proper stewardship of resources. Proverbs 28:20 states:

“A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich will not be innocent.”

Believers are called to be faithful and diligent with their resources, using them wisely and honestly for the glory of God.

The decision of whether Christians should play the lottery ultimately lies with each individual, seeking guidance from God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. While the Bible does not explicitly mention lotteries, it does provide principles that can guide our choices regarding financial stewardship, contentment, trust in God, avoiding temptation and good moral conduct.

As Christians, we are called to be mindful of our motives and actions, seeking God’s wisdom and guidance in all aspects of our lives, including financial matters.

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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