Blog Devotionals

What should Christians do about gambling?

January 24, 2023 | Sam Rainer

The greatest money danger is inside you, not your bank account. The dollars in your
pocket don’t send you to hell. It’s what you do with them.

What should Christians do about gambling? Gambling is neither work nor investment. In
Genesis 1, God made Adam and Eve to work… before they sinned! Take a moment and read
the chapter. You will see how work is not the result of sin. On the contrary, hard work is one way
we glorify God.

Work (or time resources) and investment (or money resources) continue God’s work in creation
and among humanity. God left humanity to care for the earth, and our work should better those
on this planet. Jesus left the church to spread the gospel. The church’s Great Commission work
began when He ascended into heaven.

Christians are called to continue forming, filling, subduing, and creating as God did in Genesis.
The church is to continue Christ’s work on earth. Our work and investment help bring order out
of chaos.

Gambling does the reverse. It’s a zero-sum game, meaning the only way you win is at the
expense of others. Gambling is not work. It does not better the lives of others. In fact, you can
win only when others lose. Gambling is not investment. When investing—even when risky—
your successes also bring gains to others.

Proverbs 28:19 A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in

How would you classify gambling? I think “chasing fantasy” is a good description. Our goal as
Christians in society is to create systems that reward hard work and dismantle other systems
that reward selfishness. So, is gambling really a problem? Am I making much ado about

How much did Americans wager in 2021? $215 billion! That’s an unfathomable figure.
Additionally, 7.3 million people bet on sports daily. Every day! Are some people spending small
amounts and just having fun? Sure. Are others wasting away their life savings or going into
horrific debt? Absolutely.

We could discuss whether gambling is an issue of liberty or legalism. As an issue of liberty,
some argue it can be a form of entertainment. Perhaps as an example of legalism, others argue
every game of chance involving money is a sin. But I believe there is something deeper beyond
issues of liberty or legalism.

Here is my take. We have a problem in the United States. The vast majority of people who
made a wager this year. . . lost. What if we could convince half of gamblers that a better place
for their money is in causes that support the kingdom of God!?

If you’re gambling more than you’re giving, you’re sinning. On Sunday, I’ll describe this problem
more and expound upon some biblical solutions.