By Waylon Bailey, Pastor, First Baptist Church Covington
COVINGTON – I’m writing this on Wednesday afternoon so I don’t know what happened late last night with the Powerball drawing. Eventually, someone is going to win. Until that happens Americans will continue to throw their money after the big prize.
You probably know all the particulars. The country is in a frenzy over the giveaway of $1.5 billion. I read an article this morning about the odds of winning the Powerball. It’s one in 292+ million– –not very good odds. If you want a fascinating look at these enormous odds, click here: http://graphics.wsj.com/lottery-odds/
People in the six states without the Powerball jackpot–Alabama, Alaska, Hiwaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah–are clamoring to be included. Their lawmakers are really complaining. They want the opportunity to spend more money–other people’s money.
What does this tell us about ourselves?
First, it tells us that we think only about ourselves. As we look at life, we live it as “it’s all about me.” Jesus warned us about thinking this way. By doing so, we miss what our Creator planned for us.
Second, it tells us money is everything to us. When will we learn that a person’s life doesn’t consist in the abundance of our possessions? The same article I read said that 72% of all lottery winners are broke today. Obviously, their lives are no better off financially than before winning a prize. They may, in fact, be worse off spiritually and emotionally as well.
Third, it tells us we are greedy people. A lottery winner is “rejoicing” from the misery of others. I well remember Edwin Edwards, a renowned gambler and governor of Louisiana, calling the lottery a “sucker’s bet.”
What is even worse is knowing that a lottery inordinately hurts the poorest among us.
Finally, the Powerball shows us how much we need a Savior. Our heart yearns for more. More than money or treasures we need the transformation of our lives. Jesus came to set us free and to make us what we’ve never been before.
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