By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics:


Is it appropriate for a Christian to gamble?


For the believer in Jesus Christ, there should be no appeal to take part in gambling. Gambling clearly breaks several biblical principles which are central to a Christian’s way of life. A Christian lifestyle is one that expresses faith in the loving care and provision of Almighty God, not in chance or luck (Matthew 6:33). A Christian seeks to love his neighbor, not to profit from a loss by someone else. A Christian seeks to avoid every form of greed and covetousness and to be content with what he has (see Hebrews 13:5). In addition, a Christian realizes that everything he possesses has been given in stewardship by God and should only be used in a way that honors Him.

“Signing up” or registering for a free gift is not gambling. It merely puts a person in a position to receive something that is to be given away, and this is the donor’s way of selecting the recipient. However, in the case of gambling, a person is taking chances with hard-earned money.

Mr. Graham has said: “Gambling is nowhere approved in the Bible. Instead, the Bible stresses that the Christian should earn his living by honest work and effort, and this would exclude relying on chance (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12). The Bible tells us to ‘abstain from all appearance of evil’ (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Gambling has often done untold evil to people by making them lose money that could be used for good purposes or even the necessities of life. Money is given to us by God to be used for good, not evil. Anyone seeking to do God’s will should not be involved in gambling.”

He goes on to say, “Gambling is also wrong because of the motives involved. Some people gamble for thrills and excitement. Others gamble because they have a greedy and covetous attitude about money. Some gamble out of a false belief in luck. All of these motives are wrong for the Christian, for they are all self-centered and materialistic.” Passages in the Bible which warn against greed and covetousness are Exodus 20:15, 17; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; and Colossians 3:5.

A person who struggles with gambling addiction and the resulting troubles should seek help immediately, preferably from a local gospel-preaching pastor or a qualified, professional Christian counselor.