In my humble opinion, lotteries are awful. They tax the poor and winning usually ruins peoples’ lives. And if people of means who justify their lottery purchase with the “it helps education” mantra just wanted to donate to local school boards, I’m quite certain their funds would not be rejected. It may sound high and mighty coming from someone who has never lived in want of anything, but in my experience and as an observer of life, money is the solution to very few of life’s problems, and greed is the root of much evil. (1 Timothy 6:10).
Not that I’ve never bought a lottery ticket myself, and I readily admit the anticipation and “what ifs” are pretty fun. It did cross my mind for the first time in years to buy a ticket this week, but I didn’t. I think the older I get the more I feel convicted by giving even a dollar or two towards something that I sincerely feel is harmful to the neediest among us. And I’m not suggesting that lotteries and casinos be outlawed, because I believe hearts are the issue, not laws. Laws don’t change people. Jesus does.
Anyway, on Wednesday morning I was sitting on the couch reading, Will was surfing the Internet in the kitchen and little Will had just come downstairs for breakfast. Daddy Will called to me from the kitchen, “two people won that jackpot, that means they get $190 million each.”
Little Will, who is nine, asked in a completely serious tone, “Is that a lot of money?”
“Yes, that’s a lot of money!”
“Is that more money than we have?” he asked.
“Yes, that’s more money than we have!”
Perhaps we’ve stressed too much that we have more than most people in the world? Perhaps we need to be a little concerned about innumeracy? Perhaps I’ve told him too often about child labor and starving nations?
But really I’m just struck by his contentment and innocence and wish he could stay this way forever. Unfortunately in another blink or two of the eye, he’ll realize that even though we live a very comfortable life we are far from millionaires. And he’ll know that $190 million is a tremendous, and likely ruinous, amount of money!
I’ll be praying that my boys grow up to have a healthy view of money, that they will be good stewards (far better than their mama), and that they will avoid the the pit of avarice and the mistaken belief so often promoted in our culture that money solves life’s problems.
And I would love to hear about ideas or resources that address raising kids to have a biblical view of money.