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Thou Shalt Not Gamble

While you won’t find this in the Ten Commandments, the Bible forbids gambling. Here’s why.

By Michael Prewitt

“I figured I was just one number away from getting rich,” said Jay, a salesman. His gambling career started with Lotto and Win 4. His bets were only about $10 a week at first. Then, one week he hit on five of six Lotto numbers and won $2,000.

His spending on lottery tickets spiked to $10 a day. Before long, he was betting $100 a day, taking out cash advances on his credit cards to fuel his obsession.

“I was driving around…buying tickets in different stores, [so] it wasn't obvious how much I was playing,” Jay admitted. It never occurred to him that his gambling was taking control of his life.

In a year, running up debts of more than $20,000, he began waking up with sweats. Guilt over the way he was secretly wasting his family’s income became oppressive. Jay took out a life

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  1. See Gal. 5:1; 2 Peter 2:19; Rom. 6:16; Titus 3:3.

  2. “Gambling Addiction Statistics,”, accessed Feb. 2, 2012.

  3. Prov. 13:11. See also Prov. 21:25.

  4. See Eccl. 9:11.

  5. William A. Galston and David Wasserman, “Public Interest,” Newsday, Apr. 1, 1996.

  6. Ibid.

  7. Jer. 17:11.

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