Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Don't Bet on It

I appreciate John’s honest comment on my post Just This One Time. Author of the blog John’s Life Without Gambling, he admits the troubles that an addiction to gambling has caused him – loss of family, home, jobs and more. But he is in recovery, and I hope anyone who reads this post will say a prayer for strength and healing for him as he puts his life back together.

Just the other day, I heard another report of how gambling has brought down a young man’s life. This teenager was in his freshman year at one of our state universities. He’s an all-American, clean-cut kind of guy, raised in a good home. Not the sort to get in any serious trouble. Last winter he decided to join a betting pool in his dormitory. I think they were betting on ACC basketball – not an uncommon venture in this part of the world.

The second time he joined the pool, the group asked him to take the money pouch over to the dorm next door. On the way, he was intercepted by police. And they found more than money in his hands - drugs were hidden in the bottom of the pouch. Now, instead of pursuing a degree, meeting girls, and enjoying college life, he is serving three years in prison. How hard this must be for him and his family.

I do believe God can redeem this experience, if he submits it to the Lord, and that some good can come of it. All of us make mistakes and step outside God’s will for our lives, and our stumbling is not in vain when we turn it over to Him. But, as I’ve said before, if we obey God and seek to live holy lives, we can avoid a lot of negative consequences. Ask God to protect you from evil in this world and to help you live a pure life.

“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils: it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs.” I Timothy 6:9-10