I live in the grand state of New Mexico in the city of Albuquerque–It has glorious mountains on one side and on the other three sides is surrounded by casinos. I don’t gamble; the lottery is a tax on people that a bad at math. As they said, in Ocean’s Eleven “The house always wins! You can never change the odds.”
I hate gambling–for many reasons–but first and foremost it targets the naive. What idiot actually thinks he’s gonna win the lotto? What really gets my goat (not that I have a goat) is that arcade games are turning into gambling trainer games–remember those ticket games, like ski-ball or make the shot–you play the game and the better you were the more tickets you made. Not anymore, anymore those ticket games resemble slot machines–play for the big payout! GRRR. Okay, down boy!
Let me be abundantly clear–You shouldn’t gamble! Ever! It’s not worth it! It’s robbery you do to yourself–with greed as the accomplice.
But you know, greed is a very subtle seducer.
This last summer, I started collecting coke points–the silly little codes on coke bottles gives you points you can turn in online for stuff–like 30 points is a coupon for a free 20 oz. coke. And you know they have all kinds of sweepstakes you can enter too. For a mere 3 or 6 points you can enter a contest to win a $2,000 visa gift card or a cool new TV or a super vaction or some other awesome prize!
I love contests; I could win! It’s neat to daydream about winning the (you fill in the blank here), and honestly I don’t think anything is wrong with that! BUT what’s it cost? Hmm. I know coke points aren’t money; but–woah–wait a minutes, what is money? It’s a means of exchange–I give someone something and they give me something back. Then coke points ARE money–sure they won’t buy groceries, but they’ll get me a 12 pack of coke. So, as ridiculous as it may seem, I was being a bad steward with Coke Points. I’ve thrown away enough coke points to get a 12 pack of coke!
I’ve collected a lot of coke points–but the only thing I was able to do was get a hundred bucks off my school’s hotel bill at the teachers convention. Yeah, that’s cool, but I’ve entered dozens of contests. I have won actually–nothing! BUT wait, they have NEW contests with cool NEW prizes! It’s awesome, it’s cool; it’s Vegas with coke points. Hmmm.
Okay, is coke point contests gambling? yeah–ish. I add that “ish” for you people. Me–the answer is yes–I’ve been convinced by reason and the Holy Ghost that rewards programs–like coke points–are something that God wants me to be a good steward with. That may sound stupid–but hey, God didn’t ask you to do it. Christian freedom is just that FREEDOM–If you want to enter coke point contests go for it! After you talk to God about it, of course.
I didn’t give this testimony to hate on contests. I still enter contests–but only those that cost NOTHING–like that Papa Murphy’s gift card give away! I could win a pizza or whole lot of pizza! Wouldn’t that be neat! I’m just warning you that greed is very seductive–it lurks-like a piranha, in the beautiful blue waters of the lake of life. Watch out for it.
Maybe contests aren’t how it will attack you. I don’t think that was or even is the primary way it’s coming after me. Maybe you’ll be duped into greed through work–or that constant pressure to keep up with the Joneses. My brother pointed out that greed can hit a person in how much or how awesome the gifts are they give to others at the holidays! Wow–greed attacking a person through generosity! Ouch!
I realy just want to warn you to be on your guard! Greed is out there and it can get you! Be careful. AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!