Saturday, January 16, 2016

Thank God you didn't win the lottery!

I didn't win the lottery, but I confess I didn't even buy a ticket. I guess I'm a party-pooper cause it seems every one of my friends played the lottery.  I must admit there is a great temptation to buy that lottery ticket, especially when everyone you know is talking about how they are going to win, almost giddy with anticipation, waiting to hear their numbers called. And I have heard many of my Christian friends describe what they will do with the money when they win. They really believe that God is going to facilitate their winning and they all say they intend to give a lot of it away.

So, I do feel left out of being part of the experience. This may be the only reason I would consider buying a ticket. But I never have and there is really one big reason I don't play - I don't want to waste my money on something that would absolutely destroy my life. Yes, you heard me, if I won, the money would change my life, but only for the worse.  It doesn't matter if the pot is 2 million or 40 million, winning would ruin me. (This is another thing that perplexes me. Why is it when the pot reaches an enormous amount do people decide to join in.  It's as if 25 million is not enough, but when it reaches 40 million then I think I'll play.)  So I figure for me, there are only two scenarios that could happen if I buy a ticket.

1. I don't win, so I've just thrown my money away.
2. I win and destroy my life.

I've talked to a lot of Christians about the lottery and most think I'm being a killjoy. But here is why I say winning the lottery would ruin my life and probably your's also.
1) I know that I am not prepared to be a multi millionaire and very few of us are. The burden of even giving all that money away, not to mention investing and spending it wisely would crush me. Most people who win, lose their friends, destroy their marriage and end up miserable because they can't handle all that comes with being very wealthy. That life of a rich person from down here looks wonderful, but in reality, it is nothing like what we think.

If you earn your money by hard work, you have a better chance of managing the money and its affect on your life because you have acquired it over time and adjusted over time. That won't exempt you from the negative affects of having an excess of money. But when you acquire it all at once, you have little to no preparation, mentally, spiritually or financially to deal with all of the change. If you think you have stress in your life now, you can't imagine the weight and worry you'll suddenly experience if you come into millions of dollars. You may think you can handle it, but that is almost as big a fantasy as winning the lottery. 

2) I believe the Bible and Jesus.  The truth is as Jesus says, money and wealth can turn your heart away from God. Get rich quick Schemes will lead us away from trusting God as the real source of our financial security.  In other words, the more money you accumulate, the harder it is to trust in almighty God and the easier it is to trust in the almighty dollar.  

Matthew 6:24 ; 
 No one can serve two masters. He will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money.
1 Timothy 6:10;
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Hebrews 13:5
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.””

These are wise words to consider for all of us, whether we play the lottery or not. Never think money will be the answer to your problems. None of us are exempt, especially if all of a sudden you go from earning a modest income to having millions.  And when it comes to the lottery, if you believe that you are going to win and believe you could handle the large payout if you should actually win, you are living in a make-believe world. 
Or think of it this way. We have already won a lottery so to speak just by living in this country and this time period. I am rich by world's standards and I have a hard enough time devoting myself to God as it is without having millions more to deal with.    

So when you feel the urge to spend that one dollar, or one hundred dollar bill, on a chance to ruin your life, think again. And be thankful to God!  Not playing or not winning may just have saved your life. 

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