Otherwise, what will you do in the end,
When your neighbor puts you to shame?
Get the facts first!
Too often we respond to circumstances without getting both sides of the story and then have to make apologies for our error. So always get both sides of the story before making judgments or pursuing a matter further.
He who gives an answer before he hears,
It is folly and shame to him. —Proverbs 18:13
The first to plead his case seems just,
Until another comes and examines him. —Proverbs 18:17
. . . it is not good for a person to be without knowledge,
And he who makes haste with his feet errs. —Proverbs 19:2
Regarding purchasing lottery tickets: In the Bible there’s the story about a disciple who pulled in a fish with money in its mouth. The money came from God, but he still had to go fishing and cast his line in the water. So, what if God wanted me to win the lottery, wouldn’t I need to buy a ticket? Also, what if I buy lottery tickets for fun—spending only a fraction of what some spend on, for example, golf?
The coin in the fish’s mouth story (Matthew 17:24-27) cannot be compared to the lottery question. It’s not comparing apples to apples. But you have brought up an interesting question.
It is possible (but not likely) that God would want you to win the lottery, as God can do anything He wants. So, you could make the case (not that we buy into it) that sometime in your life you should buy ONE lottery ticket just to see if God wanted you to win. But, based on that argument, you should only buy ONE ticket in your entire life—He only needs one ticket. So, if you’ve ever purchased a ticket in the past, you have your answer.
As far as using the lottery recreationally—Competition, fun and relaxation are the hallmarks of sports and recreation. Get-rich-quick is the premise of the lottery.
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. —1 Timothy 6:9
Remember, regardless of what you proclaim, God knows your root motivations at heart:
. . . man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. —1 Samuel 16:7
The Lord . . . who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts . . . —1 Corinthians 4:5
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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.
Answers to questions in GML are intended to be supplementary and in the spirit of Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, and 26:26, which calls for believers to seek counsel from more than one person. Therefore, it is not recommended that any decision be based solely on GML’s answer, but rather it be considered one of several counselors when determining a course of action.Compass International, Inc. www.compass.org