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What Does the Bible Say About Gambling?

What Does the Bible Say About Gambling?


Biblical Principles and Gambling

While the Bible does not specifically mention gambling, several biblical principles can be applied to understand its stance on the practice. Firstly, the Bible warns against the love of money, which is often a core aspect of gambling. In 1 Timothy 6:10, it is written, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” This suggests that pursuits driven primarily by the desire for quick financial gain, like gambling, are spiritually hazardous.

Additionally, the Bible emphasizes hard work and responsible stewardship as means of gaining wealth. Proverbs 13:11 states, “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.” This wisdom literature contrasts the quick gains of gambling with the virtue of gradual accumulation through labor, highlighting the value of earning wealth through diligence and effort.


The Dangers of Greed and Trust in Chance

Gambling often relies on the lure of quick riches and may foster a mentality of greed and reliance on chance, which is at odds with biblical teachings. Luke 12:15 warns, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” This teaching encourages believers to focus on spiritual riches rather than temporary, material gains.

Furthermore, trusting in luck or chance can be seen as inconsistent with trusting in God’s provision and plan. The Bible encourages reliance on God rather than on uncertain riches or the allure of easy money. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus teaches, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” This verse suggests that priorities should be centered around God’s kingdom, not the pursuit of wealth through uncertain means like gambling.

Gambling and the Community

The social aspect of gambling is another area of concern when viewed through a biblical lens. The Bible encourages believers to love their neighbors and consider the welfare of others (Mark 12:31). Gambling can often lead to negative social consequences, including addiction and financial hardship, not only for the individual but also for families and communities. This potential harm to oneself and others is at odds with the biblical call to seek the good of our neighbors and to act in ways that promote communal well-being.

The Illusion of Quick Gain

The Bible also speaks against the pursuit of wealth through quick and effortless means. Ecclesiastes 5:10 warns, “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” This perspective challenges the allure of gambling, which often promises quick and easy financial gain but can lead to dissatisfaction and a never-ending pursuit of more.

In summary, while the Bible does not explicitly mention gambling, its teachings on money, stewardship, hard work, and the love of neighbors provide a framework for understanding the potential spiritual and social pitfalls associated with gambling. These principles suggest a cautious approach to gambling, prioritizing hard work, trust in God’s provision, and the well-being of others over the pursuit of quick financial gain.


The Bible, while not directly addressing gambling, offers principles that guide believers in their approach to it. The emphasis on stewardship, hard work, trust in God over chance, and the dangers of greed and love of money all suggest a cautious stance towards gambling. Christians are encouraged to consider the broader implications of their actions, including the potential harm to themselves and others, and to prioritize spiritual and communal well-being over the pursuit of material wealth.

Read More

For those interested in exploring the biblical perspective on gambling and related issues, the following books may provide further insights:

  1. “Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem” by Jay W. Richards. This book explores the moral aspects of money and wealth, including discussions on greed and proper stewardship, from a Christian perspective.
  2. “The Love of Money: How to Build Wealth and Not Be Corrupted” by Paul Zane Pilzer. Pilzer delves into the relationship between wealth and spiritual values, offering insights that can be applied to understanding the biblical view on gambling and the pursuit of wealth.

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