Photo by Melissa Rich used via Creative Commons

Photo by Melissa Rich used via Creative Commons

By Harold Sala

We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it.  On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.  2 Thessalonians 3:7-8

“Dr. Sala, do you ever gamble?”  “Sure, John,” I replied.  “I gamble every time I turn the key of my car and drive down the street.  I gamble when I get on an airplane or put money in the bank.”  “No,” he said. “I mean do you gamble with money?”  “No way.”  “Well, why not?”  That exchange which took place with a neighbor over the side fence happened a number of years ago.  I probably told John that I couldn’t afford to lose, but I’ve thought a good deal about the issue in recent months, especially as it has become an increasingly popular pastime with such great promise.  “Win the lottery: pay off your bills, buy a nice home for your elderly parents, take a much-deserved vacation and give a large chunk to your church or to your favorite charity.”  Why not?

One friend who invests a pretty large sum in the lottery every month says that when he wins, he’ll let his wife work at Guidelines as a volunteer.  No.  I used the wrong word.  Putting money in the lottery isn’t an investment.  It is a chance, and a fat chance at that.  The chances of getting struck by lightning are seven time