Chuck Bentley: Should Christians Play the Lottery?

Dear Chuck,

We have a lot of debt. Rather than taking on another job or trying to excel at his current one, my husband is seeking money in undesirable places. He buys weekly lottery tickets, shops garage sales and thrift stores looking for ‘treasure’. Meanwhile, I’m teaching piano lessons in our home while trying to maintain sanity in this situation.

Help Please

Dear Help,

I am sorry that you and your husband are not united around an approach to solving the financial challenges that you have. Maintaining unity in your marriage is your first priority; fixing your financial problems is a secondary priority. Let’s start with a way to unite as husband and wife then we’ll talk about the financial strategies your husband is using.

Getting on the Same Page

Start by asking your husband to have a “money date” or a series of dates. This is a quiet evening to have a meaningful discussion to begin the process of unifying around your financial goals. It will take an effort to be patient and listen to each other to find your common desires. Crown has resources that can assist you in the process here.

Financial Choices

I have found over the years that people are fascinated by get rich quick stories. Even God’s people are deceived into thinking that they would use the money for good should God grant them such ‘luck’! But, the truth is that money is best multiplied slowly, over time, by following the principles the Lord gave us.

Occasionally we hear of people who stumble upon incredible finds at garage sales. And, the thought of attic discoveries and buried treasure are indeed exciting. But, the reality of those things happening are rare. Unless one is trained to recognize value, the time invested is questionable.

I’m no expert in this “profession”. But, I know it takes many hours to shop, purchase, find appraisers, then buyers. And, when debt is mounting, hard work and focused time in planning and budgeting is needed to make progress towards becoming debt free.

Lotteries are promoted as a simple way to get what we need. Bloomberg reports that the lowest-income households spend the most on tickets. They are purchased based on chance, to quickly and easily obtain a large sum of money. But the Lord does not want us relying on random chance to see our needs met.

Consider Proverbs 24:3-4: By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Chuck Bentley