Investing or Gambling?

The ultimate investment is investing in eternity. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:20 “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” I have had a few Christian ask me “Is investing the same as gambling?” The answer is no. Here’s why. Gambling is taking an extraordinary amount of risk for an extraordinary gain. One of the great ironies of gambling is that the vast majority of people lose. Jackpots are built from other gamblers’ losses. Merriam- Webster’s collegiate Dictionary, tenth edition defines gambling as follows: “to bet on an uncertain outcome; to take a chance.” A gambler may risk one dollar on the lottery hoping to win $500. Everything we do in a sense involves risk with some possible reward for the risk taken. For example, there is risk associated with driving an automobile to the grocery store. Statistics tells us that the majority of traffic fatalities happen within a couple blocks of home. The risk of driving a couple blocks to the grocery store is the possibility of a traffic fatality. The reward is dinner on the table. Risk is inherent in the human psyche. However, the Bible never teaches us that we should never take a risk. God’s Word does teach us not to desire quick riches (Proverbs 28:20) and to abstain from all appearance of evil (Thessalonians 5:22). Biblical principles do not teach against taking risk, but God in His infinite wisdom gives us the ability to calculate risk with good judgment, so we can make good investment choices.

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