For the non-Christians out there, the Powerball lottery is a game where people purchase tickets for a chance to win a large sum of money. For Christians, however, the question is whether or not buying Powerball tickets is appropriate. After all, the Bible tells us that we should "trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). So, what does this mean for those considering purchasing a ticket?
First, What is Powerball?
Powerball is a multi-state lottery game available in 45 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The more people purchase tickets, the more money is added to the winning lottery. Powerball is gambling and does not have any illegal implications. Many believers buy tickets and play this game regardless of how wrong it may be. The idea is that it is a simple game of chance that most people play. Is it morally wrong to buy Powerball tickets? Money comes from God and must give honor back to him. The way to answer this question is with another question: how are you giving glory to God by buying a Powerball? Our reason for seeking to play a game to win funding removes our dependence on God and places it on the game of chance. Do you prefer to take a chance with a Powerball ticket or take a chance with God? The Bible also tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, "Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, ten or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God." Let's not take chances with our future.
What are some other ways to give back to God with our money instead of spending it on lottery tickets?"
A better way to give back to God is through charitable donations. What if I'm unemployed or have a low-paying job? How can I contribute? Many organizations will take in any amount of money. If you're unable to volunteer your time, consider giving even the smallest donation towards their cause so they may continue helping the less fortunate. You can also give back to God through tithe and offering, this is a common way to give back to God, and though it is biblical, it helps us surrender to God what we valued the most: our money. Apart from providing our tithes and offerings to the church, there are other fun ways we can give back to God. We can make a change and help others in public, buy the coffee for the person behind us, send money to a charity organization. Many make excuses that they don't trust charity organizations but still trust the lottery to win. God did not give us our talents or money to have fun but to impact the world.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV) 19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven! Investing in God's Kingdom will place you in the right place. It is also important to point out that the Bible is clear that you should not participate in anything related to gambling, whether it is a lottery, casino, horse races, or any other form of gambling.
The Bible tells us to trust the Lord, not ourselves. If we do this and buy a Powerball ticket, will it be interpreted as putting our faith only in ourselves? It's hard to say for sure (especially if you're someone who is struggling with trusting God). But what I can tell you is that those who have claimed their prize from the lottery have always been happy - even when they didn't win big. There are many different ways of looking at this question, but ultimately, there isn't one correct answer because everyone views gambling and Christianity. What matters most is how your purchase makes you feel about yourself and your relationship with Christ.