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Investing vs. Gambling

Are you wearing yourself out to get rich?

I’ve been asked whether investing in money market funds is a form of gambling forbidden by God. Now at the heart of it, gambling is based upon chance, and all must lose for one to gain. Investing is based on knowledge, and all have the opportunity to win. Both do involve risk, but only investing allows equal opportunity for all to benefit. In addition, investing provides an opportunity to contribute to a larger good – an enterprise that can benefit many, while games of chance are a pastime that contributes nothing. No product is created and no real investment in the economy necessarily occurs. Gambling does not create a growing enterprise that can provide value. It consumes resources in a moment in time and often entraps with addiction – robbing them of their resources. Proverbs 24 puts it like this, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3-4)

Random chance is not the source of a life well lived. However, wisdom, knowledge, and hard work that comes from trusting in God and His principles most definitely are. Frenzied efforts to win money through gambling don’t pay off – except in stress and anxiety. As Proverbs 23 says, “Don’t wear yourself out to get rich; don’t trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they’re gone, for they’ll surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” (Proverbs 23:4-5)

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