Almost everyone agrees that the Bible contains great advice about life, from improving your marriage to getting along with your boss at work. But does the Bible really say much about money? Does it really give us advice that we can apply to our own life in today’s world?
The Good News is Yes! Absolutely! We believe the Bible is as relevant and helpful today as when it was written, and God has a LOT to say about money. Did you know money is mentioned in the Bible over 800 times? God must be pretty serious about this subject to talk about it that much.
In fact, Jesus says in Luke 16:11, “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” It appears from this verse that God uses money as a test of our management and stewardship skills before entrusting us with spiritual things. Money can, indeed, solve a lot of problems. There are many good things that can be done with dollars. But, there are also terrible human tragedies that await those who believe money will solve most of their problems.
One of the reasons I don’t support the states’ legalizing and encouraging gambling – be it the lottery or casinos – is because it appeals to the idea that we can get rich by doing nothing. I realize that for many, gambling is a form of entertainment. Yet, very often the people who have the least are the ones who buy into this mindset. It just tugs at my heart when I see a poor individual standing there in the convenience store, buying all those lottery tickets; sometimes with young children resting on both arms. I cringe when I think about how much of their already meager wages are going into this pipe dream that they will find instant wealth.
This type of thinking just doesn’t make sense. It’s a sign of a person’s lack of understanding. And sadly, my own state encourages this mindset. “Now, Bryant,” you ask, “what about the HOPE Scholarships?” Well, although the logic reads well in print, the lottery often takes money from the poor to pay for the affluent kids’ college educations. How unjust can that be?
We must not only learn how to spend money wisely, we need to make sure we understand how to pursue money in a way that makes sense. Playing the lottery just isn’t one of them.