He says that He will never leave me. Thank You Jesus that that is true. I know you are telling me, “I am here.”
That is my prayer and thanksgiving this morning. It has to be because I feel like a heel. Yes, I said it. If you cannot guess from my self-loathing, I am chastising myself for going to the casino and wasting money that I really needed to be saving. I have probably posted this before, but I am hoping that doing this in such a public way will be taking the responsibility necessary to stop this behavior. I have to call gambling sin. It may not be for everyone, but it is for me. I need help behind the decision not to go.
I am posting to help not only me, but anyone else that struggles with gambling or addiction of any kind. The scriptures are what I need to reinforce it all. To gamble means to play games of chance for money or to take risky action in hope of a desired result. Addiction means to be physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance or action, and unable to stop partaking without incurring adverse effects. Now gambling may not fit in that definition, but for my purposes I am saying that it is. It would seem I have a problem with feeling satisfied like a normal individual.
In the beginning, my search resulted in the following gambling related quotes in the Bible.
Mark 8:36 (NKJV), “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”
Hebrews 13:5 (ESV), “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'”
Ecclesiastes 5:10 (NASB), “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.”
Luke 12:15 (NKJV), “And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’”
Looking at gambling in this manner shows it as the sin of covetousness spoken against in Exodus 20:17, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
The more research I find the worse I feel about what I have done. This is explained in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Sometimes I have justified my going to the casino out of desperation for the funds to do things like buy groceries or toilet paper, this kind of thinking is covered under the sin of mistrust in God’s provision. Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” The funds or rather the provision comes from God not anything that I do. I need to stand on Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus,” not my own understanding.
In Matthew 6:24 we are told that “no one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” I am serving the enemy every time I make the decision to go to the casino. Not because casinos and gambling are totally from the devil, but because I cannot go without hurting myself and others. What kind of witness is that? The New International Version says 1 Corinthians 8:9 this way, “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” I am starting to think of myself as a hypocrite because of all of this stuff. Not the scriptures, but my actions.
You would think I would learn that when I read Proverbs 13:11 and it says, “Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow,” I would listen. The Bible is clear. I am going to lose my money if I gamble with it.
Proverbs 23:5 “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”
Proverbs 28:19 “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.”
Even Proverbs 16:33 refers to the truth that “casting” lots is not going to work as well. “Every decision is from the LORD.” I am also relearning that I am powerless and that my life is be coming unmanageable because of my actions. Addiction is addiction. I believe that the urges have gotten out of control. The increasing and persistent problems in my life are proof.
I have to get ready for work, so I will have to cut this shorter than I really want to, but I will come back. Hopefully Monday. If not sooner.