Investing vs. Gambling
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” (Proverbs 27:12 NIV)
If you or someone you know has lost money in the stock market, you may be wondering if lotteries would be a better investment. After all, don’t both of these “investments” involve risk? I have been asked this question on numerous occasions by well meaning Christians.
The truth is, risk is present when you invest in the stock market as well as when you gamble. But consider this: During the twentieth century, the average stock market return was about 5 percent. And, any rate of return is better than zero, which is what essentially all but a few lottery players will receive.
In one multi-state lottery, the odds of winning the grand prize were almost 200 million to one, which means that the lottery ticket you buy doesn’t significantly reduce your risk. In fact, one example compared the probability of winning represented by one lottery ticket to picking the correct 12 inches of a line stretched the 240,000-mile distance between the earth and the moon!
For most people, the return on investment represented by a lottery ticket is nothing more than the paper on which it’s printed.
Christians should never take the money God has entrusted to them and waste it on gambling. God is more than able to meet our needs, and when we begin putting more trust in chance than in Him, it’s time to reevaluate our priorities.
Daily Scripture Reading: Genesis 48 - 50
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