Bible Study Blog

The Lottery Mentality

by Jeremy A. Brown

We’ve all had that dream or thought of one day hitting it big and never having to work again. The thought of not having to do any work, but earning millions of dollars, gets so many people around the world excited. That excitement is the reason so many pour millions of dollars into our lottery system, hoping to strike it big. We all know the odds are not in our favor and the simple fact that 70 percent of lottery winners end up bankrupt, according to CNBC news. This saying perfectly sums it up: “No goal was ever met without a little sweat.” We respect and do all we can to retain that which we have earned with our sweat and hard work. Let that sink in for a minute and think about how the lottery mentality has infiltrated Christianity.

Somehow this lottery mentality has been spread far and wide throughout Christianity. Often you hear you don’t have to do anything; God is just merciful, and He’ll give you all your heart desires. Sounds just like you won the lottery!! You made no effort to get what you earnestly sought, but somehow you received this huge reward. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with God in this manner (James 2:14-26). You can’t just tell God “I love You” and “I believe in You” without keeping His holydays, praying to Him, and striving to keep all of His commandments (1 John 5:2).

There are numerous scriptures that contradict the lottery mentality we see today. For instance, in Proverbs 12:11 it says those who work their land will have abundant food, etc., and those who fantasize have no sense. You can fantasize all you want, but without works it’s pointless. We have to show God we love Him not only with our lips but by our actions of keeping His commandments and utilizing the talents He has given each of us to bless one another. Lastly, we have to remember that mere talk and fantasizing, without works, leads to poverty—a.k.a. not getting the results you desired (Proverbs 14:23).