I remember a fellowship I attended once where one of the sisters in attendance asked for prayer because of a betting entry she had made and she wanted God’s help to win. Then one day while listening to one of the religious radio stations, there was this pastor praying with great enthusiasm for all those brethren who had played in one of the betting competitions that they may receive the anointing that wins. In early 2017, I received an unsolicited SMS inviting me to make use of the sender’s skills to place winning bets in one of the footballing betting companies! I silently declined of course.
Gambling is everywhere and beckoning everyone! But what is it?
Gambling is founded on the desire to make quick easy money; to get rich quickly without having to work at all, leave alone working hard, to sweat. The argument goes this way, “If I can make money without investing my time, effort and creativity, why bother. If all it takes is 20 bob to win 20 Million, why bother to labor? That is why many people who have hit the jackpot in the lotteries, and won big money, never really invest it. They are incapable of investing. So the money ends up eating them up instead of them eating the money. The scripture says that, “Wealth hastily gotten will dwindle, but he who gathers little by little will increase it.” Proverbs 13:11
In 1873, Governor Washburn of Wisconsin, U.S.A, in his annual message declared, "Some law seems to be required to break up the schools where gamblers are made. These are everywhere. Even the church (unwittingly, no doubt) is sometimes found doing the work of the devil. Gift concerts, gift enterprises and raffles, sometimes in aid of religious or charitable objects, but often for less worthy purposes, lotteries, prize packages, etc., are all devices to obtain money without value received. Nothing is so demoralizing or intoxicating, particularly to the young, as the acquisition of money or property without labor. Respectable people engaging in these chance enterprises, and easing their consciences with the reflection that the money is to go to a good object, it is not strange that the youth of the state should so often fall into the habits which the excitement of games of hazard is almost certain to engender."
Is it not amazing that this was said more than 100 years ago? And yet the same thing has gripped many completely today. It is destroying countless lives of men and women, young and old alike, but especially the young. There are countless betting shops today; each declaring it offers better returns than the other, and that at an affordable ‘investment’. And a great number of people are hooked to this vice. It is like a drug—easy to start, hard to stop! What is more, the government is legalizing various forms of gambling. Look at Sport-Pesa, and the likes of Lotto and many others. They are all sponsored publicly. They are advertised every day in several media outlets. It’s not criminal to conduct gambling and betting businesses. In actual fact, the government collects taxes from them, hence making them legal enterprises. For the Christian, what should be the guiding rules?
Read this and much more in our upcoming Issue of Timazi