The Powerball jackpot is making National headlines again. It is nearing $403 Million, and as its payout rises, the hopes of many living a modest, middle class life in suburban America follow. I myself am not immune to this, truth be told, I bought two tickets when it reached its all time high of around $1.6 billion in January 2016. I knew better, but I let myself get swept in by excitement connected to “what if” thinking. I knew better because my dad had advised me that, “The lottery is just another tax on the poor.” The odds of winning, especially the jackpot, are almost laughably low.
One has a better chance of being struck by lightning than winning the lottery. Have you ever wanted to be a movie star? Odds indicate Hollywood could very well oblige you before you win the Powerball. That movie star you think is absolutely breath taking? Why not ask them out for coffee? Yet, millions of people line up at convenience store counters clinging to the hope of switching their mediocre life for that of a millionaire.
The Bible does not use the term “get rich quick scheme” as some in our culture may describe the lottery, but it does warn of seeking hastily after wealth.
“Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.” – Proverbs 13:11
I’d like even, especially, to submit to those who are reading this and saying the Bible isn’t true and isn’t the Word of God that we have seen the aforementioned verse play out in real time. We saw it in the life of (my home State native) John Whittaker who found his life in shambles after having won the largest lottery in history at the time. We saw it from Johnny “Football” Manziel as he seemingly struggled to function amidst his newfound wealth and fame. It repeatedly shows up in our society. All we need to do is pay attention.
Furthermore, I wish to address a common misconception. The Bible does not say money is the root of all evil as many believe. It says the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Christians are called to be content with what they have and not lust after wealth nor fear what could happen for lack of it, but rather trust the Lord to provide for us.
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” – 1 Timothy 6:10
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” – Hebrews 13:5-6
Finally, I conclude with a warning straight from the mouth of the Lord Himself, which I believe rings louder and truer than at any time in history as the term “American Dream” has become synonymous with owning an abundance of material possessions.
It is written, “And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” – Luke 12:15