How do I Stop My Gambling Addiction? EP 18

The Adrenaline Rush of Gambling is Overwhelming

In This Episode:

I Like the Rush of Gambling

The love of money is so gripping, it can cause us to wander away from God and lead us into all kinds of trouble, where we have broken hearts with many sorrows. And we don’t just break our own hearts but also those near to us.

In this episode, I speak with Mike, who spent his trust fund money on gambling, money that was intended for his education. I talk with Paris, who hasn’t been to the casino recently but still feels the temptation. And he almost lost his wife because of his gambling addiction. Finally, I speak with David, who is losing friends and family over his addiction and is spending money he doesn’t have, even gambling during his breaks at work.

It can take a while for gamblers to hit the wall so to speak, because most are optimistic by nature, easily fooled by their own reasoning. They think everything is going to work out just fine. They live for the high of winning.

I’m Going to Win Eventually

Gamblers can easily become delusional. They hold beliefs which contradict reality. They reason within themselves, next time I play, I’ll hit the jackpot and everything’s going to be great. Always chasing the big prize, while slipping and sliding into more and more debt.

King Solomon wrote, “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.” Proverbs 28:19

The gambler is chasing a fantasy of winning big. At some point, the gambler loses his grip on reality. The buzz to the gambler is that winning hand, which will set everything straight. Some addicted gamblers are extremely arrogant and narcissistic. They think people who don’t play are chumps for not having the guts to take a chance of walking away with easy money.

What Gamblers Think…

  • The buzz of winning is awesome.
  • It’s easy money.
  • Winning will bring me massive thrills.
  • I’ll win more than I lose.
  • Even if I lose, I’ll win next time.
  • Seeking the great thrill is an awesome escape.
  • I’m not breaking the law.
  • Everybody gambles.
  • I’m smarter than the game.
  • How can it be so bad, if it feels so right?
  • I’m not hurting anyone.
  • I’ll figure out how to pay my debt.
  • My family will put up with my addiction.
  • I control it, it doesn’t control me.
  • What I’m doing isn’t bad, it’s not like I’m doing drugs.

What does God say about gambling? Why does he want us to stay far from it?

While God does not say specifically, don’t gamble. He has a lot to say about the sin behind gambling, which is the love of money. A writer on put it this way: “Most often when people gamble it is because they become addicted to the love of money. A simple game can become a sin when it takes over our minds and hearts and leads us down a road of never being satisfied.”

Gambling adds fuel to the consuming fire of the love of money. Most gamblers end up craving the thrill of chasing the money they love and the rush of winning it. The Bible says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10

Money in and of itself is not evil. It is just a tool. But the love of money is. King Solomon, the wisest man in the Bible said, “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 5:10

And so, the gambler is never satisfied, ever. What the gambler wants is more thrills, more games, and more money. He can never get enough. He is forever craving, wanting even more but never satisfied.

Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24

If you love money, you will not love God. If you love God, you will soon despise the love of money. Unless the gambler turns to God and turns away from the love of money, he will forever despise God.

Did Today’s Episode Get You Thinking?

God uses the consequences of our actions to force us back to Him. God is bigger than your gambling problem, no matter how big it is. It’s not just a matter of telling the world you want to reset but it’s the ongoing hard work it will take to get free. You can change your love of money to a love for God and He will help you if you ask. You can find freedom from your addiction.

Resources for Getting Over a Gambling Addiction:

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Remember, whatever you do, Never Lose Hope

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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