Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Grrr! (01/28/10)
- TITLE: Lady Luck
By Sharon Eastman
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Nothing makes my blood race or my teeth clench and go “grrr” than the subject of gambling. I know Christians are busy with pro-life and other moral issues, but let’s put some effort into stamping out the many facets of legal and illegal gambling. Too many lives have been ruined by this folly.
Even in these most dismal economic times, most casinos are flourishing. Food, entertainment, and glamorous settings are there to entice fortune seekers. Bingo halls are filled with senior citizens, blue haired ladies, and middle-aged housewives. Lottery tickets beckon to the hustling crowd at every corner gas station and convenience store. Some gamblers consider the “sport” an innocent whim. Others, those addicted, consider it a trap, a slave master, and a grave sickness. To the country’s dismay, gambling addiction is a growing, heartbreaking problem.
Anti-gambling therapy groups call this addiction a disease, a sickness. In my opinion, it is not only a disease; it is a sin rooted in lust. To my knowledge, the Bible does not directly address this issue; however, it is an evil taskmaster, who leads its victims to financial ruin, jail, or suicide.
The gambling addiction can begin at a casino or at a lottery ticket supplier. Lust, greed, and pleasure seeking lures the victim. Soon he feels elation when placing a bet. A true addict may win thousands of dollars and loose it all in seconds. He fails in the attempt to recoup his winnings. Addicts come from all different backgrounds, economic groups, and personalities. If treatment and recovery are not found, this problem progresses and worsens. The addict will come to bankruptcy, prison, or suicide. Gambling isn’t for “sissies.” It’s hardcore trouble.
Because my nephew was a gambling addict, I hold this problem is close to my heart. He “blew” thousands of dollars at the casinos and on lottery tickets. His parents knew and were deeply grieved. He was in financial despair and digging himself deeper. If he bought a lottery ticket, he would play until broke. All his losses didn’t deter his habit; the “rush” he felt while gambling was the ultimate goal. The issue of money didn’t matter. It was that high. Finally, after hitting rock bottom he went to Gamblers Anonymous. This group was helpful, but it wasn’t enough. We rejoice that he turned his life to the Lord and is now in recovery. He is slowly repaying his debts. But, throughout his life, he will have to beware of Lady Luck. And, it all began with one bet.
These days the answer to solving financial problems or lies in the hands of chance – at least it seems. Ask any American if he would like to go on a cruise, buy a big house, or buy a new car. He will most likely say, “When I win the lottery.” This dream came true for a woman I once knew. She was in dire financial straights. Her house was in foreclosure; her bills were overdue; and she had no money. In desperation she bought some lottery tickets and won over a million dollars. She was ecstatic when she claimed her prize (which after taxes was 2/3 of the million dollar amount.) She tried to invest her winnings wisely, but she ended up loosing it all by bad investments. Today she is one pathetic creature, broke, and miserable. She admits that life was better before her win.
This sad scene occurs in the life of many gamblers. Even the wealthy are prone to loose to the charms of Lady Luck. Gambling has disgraced many celebrities and sports heroes. It affects all kinds.
In my opinion legalized gambling should be abolished. Its purpose has failed. Schools subsidized by gambling are in worse condition than ever. And, its purpose to promote jobs and businesses is a joke. Our economy is dismal, and the worst it has been since the Great Depression. Does God bless a nation whose economy partially rests on the shifting sand of Lady Luck?
As a nation and as individuals we should trust in the Lord for all things, material and spiritual. “Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:4 KJV Go onward, Christian soldiers, and battle against abortion and other moral problems that plague our land. Let us rid this nation of gambling and call it what it really is – SIN - not entertainment.
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