Financial Wisdom

August 10, 2008

“He who tills his land shall be satisfied with bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits is lacking in sense. “ – Proverbs 12:11

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, the state encourages this mindset. And even worse, in my state, the lottery is a sick way of taking 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.