Dictionary.com defines to “gamble” as:
“...To stake or risk money, or anything of value, on the outcome of something involving chance.”
I define entrepreneurial business, including stock trading, as “...An educated Risk.”
What is the difference?
All business activity includes risk. Some people confuse risk with gambling. When one gambles, he is risking money on chance. In business, we risk money only after being educated in the skill sets of that business, and only when the probability math is on our side. So, the education, and the probability math is the difference—we are not throwing money away to chance.
The Bible most certainly would not support gambling. However, it everywhere supports educated risk and wise investments with regard to business. We do not need to conjecture about this, for the Bible provides a passage specifically on investing.
Check out the Parable of the Talents.
The “Lord” in this story is a successful businessman, and he represents the Lord Jesus Christ. We see here that none of the money is “our” money, it is the Lord’s and we are stewards of it. Here is God’s mind on proper educated risk:
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
The man who took an educated risk, and invested the talents and doubled them, was praised by the Lord, considered good, considered faithful, and was given even greater things to do for the Lord, and was made a partner with the businessman, entering “into the joy of thy Lord.” This also represents heaven, so those on the way to heaven need to learn to take educated risks, and invest wisely.
Now let’s see how the Lord feels about people who are lazy-minded, and will not take time to learn skill sets in finance and business, and who take zero risk:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The fearful man who took zero risk with the Lord’s money was called “wicked and slothful” by the Lord. The little he had was taken from him and given to the most productive servant. He was cast into hell.
While it may be true the our Lord does not want us to gamble with His money (i.e. throw it away to chance), he certainly DOES want us to gain skill sets in finance and business, and then TAKE EDUCATED RISK with His money. In this fashion, using probability math in our favor, we become good stewards, are blessed, and eventually given even bigger things to accomplish for our Lord.
TRADEway is THE place for Christians to come and learn about money, how it works, and how to get the math on your side while investing. Don’t gamble your money way—come join us at a TRADEway event near you, and bring your family! You will learn the proper skill sets for trading and investing, and you will learn how to get the math on your side!