The lottery jackpot is over a billion dollars! Just imagine what you could do with so much money, the help you can give your family or the ministries you could support. You could be set with that kind of money, right?
“Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. . . . and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:9–10).
While playing the lottery fills our heads with dreams of a better life, we should recognize the truth, that it is but a snare to keep us poor. That verse in Timothy reminds us that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Don’t get me wrong, we need money to live our lives but when we allow greed to cause us to make bad decisions we fall into the trap the enemy has set for us to reduce our effectiveness for the kingdom.
Consider that Americans will spend over $70 billion this year on just the lottery in the 43 states that it is legal to play. That works out to $300 for every eligible adult. Keep in mind that not every eligible adult plays the lottery and that is why I call it a tax on the poor.
People living below the poverty level, those making $13,000 a year or less, spend about 9% of their incomes on playing the lottery if they play it or around $500 a year. Now, the lottery is a fool’s game just like all gambling because the game is rigged with the odds of winning set a 176 million to one. The old adage is that you can’t beat the house.
Imagine if instead of playing into the greed of the poor the state encouraged people to invest that $500 each year into savings. After 20 years they would have $24,000 and that is without the magic of compound interest.
We could invest in ourselves instead of the black hole of government spending and enjoy the benefits of a nation that saves instead of consumes endlessly. What if the average person set a side a small amount of money to buy stock in a company they use everyday.
Many larger companies offer no fee investment in the company stock, by having $50-$200 a month going into the company it strengthens the company and the employee. If we were to buy stock and hold it in basic stocks like Pepsi, Coke and Walmart we would soon turn those hundreds of dollars into thousands and more.
The lottery is a waste of wealth but sound saving principles can lead to stronger personal wealth that can raise many out of poverty to fund the Kingdom of God and college funds for the kids. Resist the shiny lights of the lotto and invest in yourself.