Some people buy lottery tickets with hopes (against long odds) of striking it rich, while other people don’t play the lottery due to moral convictions. However, for many of us, these two worlds can collide. Have you ever prayed to win the lottery, and maybe even promised God a piece of the action if He would only let you pick the winning numbers?
I have to admit that I’ve done this. After all, why would God allow some heathen to win the lottery when He could let me win, and, using my Christian morals and good judgment, I could take a portion of the winnings (say, 10%) and do so much for the Kingdom of God? Although God has never answered my prayers on this, I think that He has taught me something in the process–namely, how to actually win the lottery.
Yes, I believe that I do know how to win the lottery. You might ask why I haven’t done so then. Well, it’s not necessarily an easy process; one which might even be called self-defeating. The key component to all of this is why I might want to win the lottery. Most of us would like to have financial independence, and we believe this would do much to lift the heavy burden of stress from our lives. However, lottery winners usually just squander their money rather quickly, winding up even further in debt than before. Of course, you and I would be different, right?
I believe that the key to winning the lottery is to remove the selfish desire that we have for all of that money (Philippians 2:3). In other words, maybe we’ve been asking amiss (James 4:4). Sure, we would be generous with our new wealth, but suppose that we didn’t keep any of it for ourselves. Furthermore, since we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 19:19), and love implies self-sacrifice, suppose we even committed to such sacrifice. Here’s my plan:
Pray fervently that God would allow you to win the lottery, but make Him a better deal. Instead of using a generous percentage of the winnings for His Kingdom, promise Him that you will use it all for His glory. Then, on top of that, commit to chipping in some more, out of what He has already blessed you with. Here’s an example:
Pray to win one million dollars, and promise God that you will give it all away–to the poor, to the Church, to mission work, etc. (I think that an after-taxes amount would still be fair.) Then, also promise Him that you will give an additional amount of money away; something that hurts a little–maybe 10% of next year’s income, on top of what you might already be investing in His Kingdom. Then just trust God that He will continue to provide for you, just like He has always done.
There now: That’s how to win the lottery. Obviously, the self-defeating aspect plays into this equation only if you have included that selfish part about keeping some or most of the money for yourself. With my plan, you not only don’t get extra money, but you’re sacrificing even more, ending up with a net loss (financially speaking). You’re ending up with less than if you hadn’t won the lottery.
Now, if we only had the courage to step out in faith and exercise this plan. My faith has never been strong enough to do so, and I’m not sure that anyone’s ever has. Is your faith strong enough to prove my plan wrong?