Maybe I’m Crazy for Not Playing the Lottery…
The past few days have been crazy. We have seen people flock to the local gas stations in herds to try and find a winning Mega Millions lottery ticket. You may have even been one of those people. The hysteria surrounding the record lottery prize has made me think about one question. Why are people drawn to these lotteries? Here are what some people said in a USA Today article entitled “Kan., Ill., Md. tickets share Mega Millions lottery jackpot“:
My 401(k) is worth so little. My only chance to retire is Mega Millions.
They say the third time is the charm, so I’m bound to win, you know.
It’s something people here can really look forward to.
It’s well-needed here…It’ll be great for the city if someone here won.
What connects all of these people’s answers together? They all want more money. Money has a way of exciting people. It can give someone the hope of retirement. People look forward to having lots of money and lots of money can bring a community together (just don’t ask me how). In the midst of these four different answer is one common theme…the craving for something they do not have…money.
People want to be rich. People want to have the “freedom” to buy whatever they want, when they want. Most people live pay check to pay check and they dream of the day they don’t need to. However, these are not Christian virtues. They are symptoms of spiritual deadness. Listen to Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 6:7-10:
for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 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. -ESV
Paul’s words are clear and we see this played out in our culture daily. How many times have people been caught in some sort of scheme to rip people off for money? How many times have people been accused of shaving points in a professional sporting event for money? How many times have we seen people sell themselves physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually for money? It is an epidemic in our society and this lottery highlighted the disgusting underbelly of the average man and woman. People were willing to give away money they earned for a chance at money ther could never earn. People are willing to give away money that can buy their family needs now so that they could maybe buy their families expensive wants later. Is this not the sign of depravity? I think Jesus said it best:
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. -Matthew 6:24
The choice is yours. You can either serve an everlasting God or the ever-fluctuating dollar. I choose a God who promises to provide for my needs instead of a prize that can promise nothing. I pray you serve God as well.