Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)
TITLE: Contentment in Christ
By Pam Richards
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I have never understood the attraction that gambling holds for some people. Gambling was something one rarely heard about when I was young. In today’s culture, however, things have changed drastically. Prime time television now glorifies poker playing and people of all ages not only participate but are obsessed. They relentlessly pursue what they imagine will be a glorious windfall of enormous wealth while forsaking real opportunities for security that God provides.
My husband and I stopped briefly in Las Vegas in the 80’s on our way to visit the Grand Canyon. We stayed at a beautiful hotel that offered everything from childcare to dress shopping and shows under one roof. In addition to these, of course, was a casino. Before we entered, we set an entertainment budget of $25 each just for fun and to see how long we could make it last. Within a short time, we had gone through that money and decided to walk around. Even in my spiritually immature state, I remember a predominant chilling impression as I observed the various activities and the faces of those involved: People’s lives are literally ruined in this place. The next and final night we attended a show and saw Jim Nabors, which was far more enjoyable, but we have never returned to Las Vegas and have no desire to do so.
Because of this experience, I was very interested to hear Dr. Dobson of Focus on the Family discuss his service on the commission to study the impact of gambling. The National Gambling Impact Study Commission Final Report submitted in June 1999 states in Chapter 4:
All seem to agree that pathological gamblers “engage in destructive behaviors: they commit crimes, they run up large debts, they damage relationships with family and friends, and they kill themselves…”
The challenges for a gambler’s family must be enormous. Anyone who has a loved one struggling with this compulsion needs our support. How wise it is of God to warn us in His Word about such entrapments:
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.” Hebrews 13:5 NIV
I am thankful that God protected my husband and me when we flirted with danger long ago. How easily it could otherwise have been for the enemy to entice us to empty our bank accounts for the thrill of an adrenalin high.
God’s Word also tells us:
If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment. Job 36:11 NIV
To God be the glory that His Word is true. God has blessed us with financial stability and we live contentedly in Him.
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