Friday, March 23, 2012

On Lotto and Money Management

Last weekend, I saw on GMA TV Jessica Soho’s show about a man who won PHP 40 million from Lotto as if he got an instant Golden Eagle gold bullion. He squandered it in a matter of three months. I remember the guy sharing his story of how he withdrew the money from the bank so he can experience holding such a huge amount of money. He immediately bought a house, a car, never gave any money to his wife and started vices such as drinking, smoking, drugs, gambling and womanizing. He lived this kind of lifestyle and lost all the PHP 40 million in three months. He continued this lifestyle for three years and ended up selling the house and the car that he bought and having a PHP 300,000 debt.

One of the richest and wisest men during his time wrote in Proverbs 13:11,

“Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”

This verse is what came to mind when I was watching Jessica Soho’s show. Personally, I would consider Lotto as gambling, therefore, a source of dishonest money. Why? Because you when you win or gain something out of it, it is at the expense of other people who lose their money.

Money management, of course, had a lot to do with what happened to the instant millionaire. He did not manage his money well. I personally believe that he was not ready to handle or manage that huge amount of money that’s why his money dwindled away so quickly.

God’s design for making money – yes, God is not against getting rich, in fact, it is God who gives a person the ability to produce wealth according to Deuteronomy 8:18 – is gathering it little by little. Because as a person earns and saves, he learns how to manage the small amount of money, and sometimes, even learning from his own mistakes as the small amount is mismanaged. But as the money grows, he learns slowly and eventually becomes able to handle a larger amount. Another principle of stewardship – “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (Luke 16:10).