When it comes to gambling, there always has and probably always will be some debate about whether it is right or wrong. While those who gamble will say that there is nothing wrong with the activity, many others give Biblical reasons why it is wrong. But what does the Bible actually say about gambling?
The truth is that the Bible does not directly say anything about gambling and whether you should participate in it or not. It does, however, mention that individuals should stay away from the “love of money” or should not “covet” money. For most, it boils down to why someone gambles and their religious beliefs.
To find out whether gambling is wrong in the eyes of God depends on your interpretation and belief of what the Bible says. Keep reading to discover why people gamble and the Biblical arguments about the activity.
Why Do People Gamble?
Many people choose to gamble through various methods, either in-person or online, for a wide variety of reasons. These reasons can stem from the entertainment or social aspects to the more addictive purposes. Whatever the reason, realizing why some people gamble can go a long way to understanding instead of judging.
For some, the social aspect brings them back to the casino every weekend or the weekly poker game with the guys. Social gamblers do so because it is done when hanging out with friends or family. Since a connection is vital for many people, having gambling in common can bring them closer together.
Other people gamble because it is fun to go to Vegas with your friends and sit at the slot machines while laughing and talking. Entertainment reasons are what many people claim as their reason for participating in gambling activities.
As you go down the list of reasons people gamble, you can come across those more negative reasons, such as gambling because of the high experienced when you win. After a win of any kind, some people need to feel that high over and over again.
Those who find themselves in a world of debt can often gamble to try to earn enough money to pay their bills for the month. This can often become a slippery slope for those who experience a small win as they think if they paid out small and won small, it makes sense to gamble a bit more. Remember, if you are struggling with compulsive gambling, please seek help.
Whatever the reason people gamble, it is essential to remember that as long as they have the money themselves and are not hurting others in the process, it is their decision ultimately.
What Are the Biblical Arguments Against Gambling?
When it comes to what the Bible says about gambling, the truth is it is not expressly mentioned at all. There are many allusions to gambling, but nothing directly about the act of gambling itself. Many Christians and theologians have interpreted various scripture over the years to be directly related to gambling for many reasons.
For example, many religious experts say that I Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil,” which means that anything you do that makes it seem that you value money over anything else is evil. This can seem true for those who have gambling addictions; however, for those who gamble for entertainment or social aspects, it does not ring true.
The Bible also mentions in various scriptures the words “casting lots,” “events of luck,” or “events of chance.” These are sometimes interpreted as to mean the people in the Bible gambled and most times lost, and this was looked down upon.
If you read through the Bible often enough, you will discover that many scriptures allude to gambling as being wrong in the eyes of God. Many religious people fault gambling simply because gambling is directly tied to money, and money in the Bible is seen as a bad thing.
What Are the Arguments For Gambling?
On the other hand, many people believe that while gambling can be a problem for some, it is not exactly what they would call evil if it is done moderately. At the same time, some people have a gambling addiction, but most gamblers do not.
Another argument against the belief that gambling is an evil activity is that the Bible is not meant to be a literal owner’s manual. Instead, according to many theologians and other experts, the Bible was meant to be a guidepost for people who believe.
The most important lesson to be learned from all of this is that it also says in the Bible that you should not judge others. However, many people do this daily, both Christians and non-Christians alike.
Keep in mind that the Bible says that the love of money is the root of evil, not the love of gambling. While the allusions to gambling can be seen by most, it is not meant to condemn people who decide that gambling is for them.
In fact, many church events even involve raffles, bingo night, and other such events that could be considered gambling if you look closely enough.
What Does the Bible Say About the Lottery?
Like gambling, the Bible also does not directly say anything about the lottery. The Bible is about not worshipping money, not coveting what your neighbors have, and not putting money above all else.
Many people play the lottery every week for the off chance that they may win big. The saying, “you can’t win if you don’t play,” is just too tempting for some people. They believe that someone has to win, and it may as well be them.
Interestingly, some religious people will condemn others for going to the casino or betting on sports events but can turn the other way when it comes to playing the lottery. The bottom line with the lottery is that if someone chooses to spend their paycheck on gambling, who are you to say otherwise?
Overall, while some people may interpret the Bible to say that gambling is a sin, there is no direct scriptural reference to say this is true. The bottom line is that anything done excessively can fall under one of the seven deadly sins. As long as you gamble responsibly and do it for the right reasons, you should be good from being smited by God’s wrath.