Gambling has long been considered one of the taboos of any religious group, but there is no actual mention of the word “gambling” in the Bible. Instead, there are references to the difference between true riches, which are spiritual and eternal, and the evils of hastening to become rich. In others words, the principles and motivation behind gambling are what are condemned in the Bible, rather than the act itself.
Greed and Gambling
The coveting of worldly riches is perhaps the most mentioned aspect of gambling in the Bible. You can find references to greed in Matthew 6:31, and elsewhere in the Bible, which state that God will provide the basic living necessities. The principle behind this statement is that gambling is the desire for worldly goods, and that it is a step away from having the faith that most Christian groups believe in.
The common beliefs among Christians will vary, however, and some churches regularly hold raffles and other forms of gambling events to help raise money for the church. Your personal beliefs are an important thing to consider when you want to gamble, and examining your motivation behind gambling is perhaps the most important thing. There are other references in the Bible to the principles behind gambling, though.
Money and Ownership
The Bible also makes several references to the ownership of the things that you are given in life, and what you are supposed to do with these gifts. For example, 1 Corinthians 6:20 says that “You are bought with a price”. Some Christians interpret this to be one of the examples in the Bible that point out the principle that God has given then everything that they have, including their time and money. Gambling is considered to be a waste of both of these items, since you are not using your gifts to their fullest potential.
The idea that gambling is using the time and money that God has given you unwisely is similar to being a thief is one of the main principles that Christian groups point out when condemning gambling. The passage 1 Corinthians 6:9 through 6:10 explicitly states that a thief cannot go to heaven.
Similar to the greed principle, the idea that you should be content with what you have is commonly used as an argument against gambling. The passage “Let you manner of life be free of the love of money, while you are content with present things” is found in Hebrews 13:5. The meaning of this statement is that you should not try to gain material things when all of your basic needs are met. Similarly, the passage found in Corinthians pushes the idea that the greedy can’t enter the kingdom of heaven.
There are, however, some people who gamble simply for the fun of it. Even the most pious people in the world have a hobby of some sort, whether it is playing a game of cards in the garage or embroidery. The way that you gamble may be the most important thing, since the principles of greed and thievery are both the main arguments against gambling.
Identifying Your Personal Beliefs
If you aren’t sure about gambling, whether you are playing for free or for money, then you can easily find research online. Most conservative Christians do not agree with the idea of gambling, simply because of the violation of Christian principles behind the matter. You can make your own decision more accurately if you take the time to check out some research on the subject, or by asking your pastor to church leader to help you find the passages in the Bible that condemn the act.
If you are playing poker, or any form of gambling, for fun rather than for money, then you may have less trouble with the moral implications that if you are playing for money. There are many Christian based groups who use some form of gambling to help raise money for the church, but your own moral compass may guide you in your decision.