Often, making the decision to try therapy is the largest hurdle to overcome. The only reasons preventing me from committing suicide is because of my family, friends and being Catholic it is said that you would go to hell for committing such as act.
She accepted me with my less than stellar character and loved me anyway. I never wanted to be rich or famous, just to have a chance at the same opportunity for happiness that everyone else seems to have had. As I said, I think the ultimate goal of this compulsive gambler has always BEEN self-destruction, and in the end, it may be the only goal in my life that I actually achieve.
I am very ready, it is just a question of finding the courage to take the next step! Soon, tomorrow or the next day at the latest. Peace at last! This is how I feel. At age 60, why struggle on to 65 or older. Well, death will sort some of it out. Karen Lee April 21, at 7: As a person in long-time recovery over 13 years I came in to Gamblers Anonymous empty, defeated, alone, and without hope.
I thought I was coming to GA to help stop gambling and instead, found a whole bunch of people like me and for the first time, felt I belonged. Mary May 3, at Are you okay. Idk for sure, but my brother took his life Thursday am. I am his sister. There are no words at how heartbroken I am. His friends are devastated.
I am guessing this was the reason. I am not positive, but things you wrote, are him to a t. Bea Aikens May 5, at 5: I know this is painful and exhausting. Please, when the time is right, join a support group. There are far to many of us who have been impacted by suicide — only to be left with questions. The people in support groups will understand what your feeling. They will provide a space for you to cry, yell, be silent, or simply FEEL.
It may not feel that way as one stares the debris of a gambling addiction in the face, but there are real solutions for long-term recovery. It starts with the first step. Talk to someone. Help and hope is available for you Mike, and for anyone who feels hopeless against their gambling addiction.
For dear Arch, and for Lanie, it is to late to choose a different outcome. Please, please…talk to someone and choose a better tomorrow. Thank you for reaching out Mary. Audra June 7, at 3: I thought he had quit in after that. He paid me back all the money he took from her bank account.
I to am traumatized finding his body after they shut off his water then power. He lived on a boat. He never asked for help. Michelle April 30, at 3: Mike p are you still there. I feel the same as you. I am hopeless , past desperate. It will probably come to a head in the next month and the waiting is killing me. I have made a note, which scares me that this actually might happen.
I am scared. I am very scared. Mike April 23, at 9: I hope it worked out OK for you. Not sure how to go on. Seek help through GA. For family and those who love you Gam-Anon can be the answer to understanding what you are going through, also sharing information on how not be an enabler. True forgiveness does not come easily and is an ongoing process for all involved. GA and Gam-Anon saved our family.
It is truly one day at a time. Our son is married and able to work a job. He is loved and cherished by his family. It is challenging for him to live with what this disease has done to all of us. He has moments of deep sadness and regret. He keeps moving forward as he works his program and we his family work ours. Please seek out help and never give up. Robert May 3, at 8: I stumbled upon this site at a rather appropriate time.
I never really knew many, if any people like myself. The gift card method allowed me to lock up my winnings ASAP. It was a terrible losing streak. I guess I must learn self-control. Its just so hard to win these days. The thought of gambling, the anticipation of knowing I will have money and be able to gamble soon is so therapeutic for me.
It takes away all of my worries, stress, aches or pains. The anticipation is better than the result, which is nearly always losing and feeling miserable. All I feel now is sad, hopeless, worthless. The casino I frequent has almost all its video-reel slots with a goofy cartoon theme. It has an affordable hotel and bowling and movies. Lots of families stay there and kids are always being paraded through the casino. Perhaps they are trying to display these silly cartoon themed slots to get kids interested in gambling.
It seems so wrong. These are the types of games I always play though. Why does a thoroughly adult form of entertainment use childish characters and imagery constantly? Sorry to get off topic. Karen Lee May 4, at 2: I live in Las Vegas and am blessed that all of my recovery was found here and that we have one of the biggest GA chapters here in the country. I not only found peace and serenity away from the insanity of the bet, but found many people and true friendships in these step rooms.
I found that getting involved, giving back service, and staying connected with several meetings a week have blessed me with the removal of the obsession to bet. Belinda l. May 4, at 1: Dear Jennifer- when we made decisions based on our emotions we usually think of the worst one. All of us are not worthless. We just feel that way after a devastating action that we know is wrong. This feeling usually occur when we are in our lowest.
No self esteem. Hopeless etc. There lots of help available but you have to be willing to use it. Killing our self is not the answer; talk to someone and it will help you a lot. Marshall May 14, at I came across this site looking for ways to painlessly commit suicide. The only reasons preventing me from committing suicide is because of my family, friends and being Catholic it is said that you would go to hell for committing such as act.
I thought I had life figured out multiple times and had my future mapped out. I live 15 minutes away from the casino. I work in the casino for a corporate restaurant inside of the casino but I do not work for the casino itself, therefore; I can gamble. I even gamble money that is not mine, on credit or wherever I can get it in order to chase the money I have lost from the nights before. I get all of these incentives that encourage me to gamble more or free perks for gambling.
I never do anything fun. I just work all night gamble and do it again. I cannot be any more depressed. I cry almost every night on my way home from work. I keep a dark house and lay in bed all day and night because my body is full of depression. I was admitted to the hospital by my parents and attended an intensive out-patient program for six weeks.
I need to quit gambling. The depression is getting to be unmanageable. Over the past two and a half years I have blown an easy k. Bea Aikens May 14, at Dear Marshall, Your email touched my heart so much that I could have cried when I read it. My heart hurts for you for many reasons.
First and foremost you are questioning the value of your own life and your desperation came through loud and clear. Also, it is so Relatable to me. I once felt this despair as well and I know many, many people in recovery from gambling addiction who have expressed different versions of the exact same story. You are in the grip of the progressive illness and it can be a vicious cycle. I too hit the steering wheel of my car many nights as I drove home from a casino.
I too felt hopeless and helpless and ashamed. I really and truly get it Marshall and I promise you that it can and does get better …if you get help. I am not a clinician or a medical expert, so understand that I am speaking to you as just another person like yourself who suffers with a mental health condition recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as an addictive disorder requiring treatment.
When I was finally done, defeated, and out of options, I had two choices — kill myself or get help. Thank God I got help! Today I am SO grateful that I no longer have to live that way. And I know many many people who have had the same experience.
The isolation and shame is awful, and once you take the steps toward recovery life gets better. The National Council on Problem Gambling offers a free hour help line at Gamblers Anonymous also has hotlines and meeting lists for the entire county available on their website. Many states offer free or low cost Intensive Outpatient Programs and there are specially trained Certified Problem Gambling Counselors throughout the country specializing in this disease.
And finally, there are a few gambling specific residential treatment programs. Please get help Marshall. And, if you ever have a feeling that life is not worth living and you consider suicide…remember reading this and stop yourself. Instead, remember that help is a phone call away. Pick up the phone and dial the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1 You are in my thoughts and prayers!
Debbie Larson May 15, at 4: All that I can say today is that just knowing that I am not the only person that is feeling these feelings and thoughts is temporarily comforting. I will try to keep going and work through this pain and hopeless feeling.
Bea Aikens June 6, at How are you doing Debbie? Hopefully you are doing something good for yourself to arrest your addiction to gambling. Group Support meetings like Gamblers Anonymous and counseling help. So does sharing with others who understand: Blessings, Bea. Nikki May 4, at 8: My mother is Debbie Larson. She commited suicide on May 25, This has been a horrible life changing experience for her entire family. Alex June 20, at 2: I came here thinking about suicide..
I have been very successful in everything I do in life but gambling has been my downturn and the only thing keeping me from reaching my goal. Somehow in the back of my mind I like to think gambling is a shortcut to where I need to be to be happy or satisfied.
Sitting here writing this I think to myself what is the point anymore! Hopeless, lost and anything else you want to through in there. I want to be happy again, enjoy the things I use to enjoy. It is the first time my family have all gone on holiday together. Having lost all my salary plus selling my shares this month I had a huge pay day this month and hit the casino at midnight and drew cash the minute I got paid. Did really week the first hour and was up couple of thousand.
I had only the money I needed that month plus more to pay off few debts and enjoy my self a little. Walk out to leave but my friend wanted to carry on playing. He lost all his money and I ended up giving him more money to play with.. Watching him play made me want more. Before I knew it I was drawing money from my account because I had lost all my winnings. With in an hour all was gone and I was back to square one!! Two weeks have passed and now I sit here with my sisters card in my wallet losing all her money in her account with her mortgage money, having sold everything I had an losing that as well.
What do I do? Tommy June 22, at Hi Alex. My name is Tommy. I attend GA meetings. And in those meetings, I hear your story, over and over, often from my own lips. Many of us have caused irreparable damage. I believe that some amends need time. Ending your life may seem like the only alternative at the moment. But think that thing through. You mentioned your sister, and family. Imagine what they deal with if you went through with it.
Imagine the pain they will feel. But your parents? What about them? And you mentioned having been mostly successful in your short life. Gambling addicts suffer worst. And suicide, prison, or insanity is where we end up, without recovery. Please postpone any decisions on your immediate future for the moment.
Find a gambler anonymous 12 step meeting immediately. Call Gamblers Anonymous. Pour your heart out. Let GA guide you now. Your sister might be pissed. Your family, your friends, even your employer might be disappointed and hurt. But you have already taken the most important step. You are not alone. Get to a meeting, talk with folks in GA, and breathe. It looks bad, maybe hopeless.
A few times. Suicide would just be the last worst choice you make. Call GA. You Alex, are why Gamblers Anonymous exists. Ara H June 22, at Thank you for reaching out Alex, My name is Ara and I live in Burbank, Ca…i also am a problem gambler, I completely understand your situation, I have also taken money from my parents, employer, etc to gamble in Las Vegas, this disease is very strong and it makes you think you are ok.
All you need is a big win, which is right within reach. But it never comes, not big enough. I had maxed out all my credit cards, savings accounts and was suicidal my last time I gambled…. It took a lot for me to come to GA and stop gambling, it was when I quit.
Today my life is good and gambling is no longer a option for anything… yours, Ara H. Alex July 3, at Thank you so much for your advice guys… I was lost and stupid for thinking about suicide, but at the time it seemed like the only option. I managed to confront my family about my problem and to my surprise they were really supportive about it. I have given them all my cards and came clean with what I had done. Feel as though a huge load is off my shoulders and can start my life again. Karen July 3, at 7: Hey, Alex.
I am thrilled that your family was there for you and support of the family is tremendously helpful. Keep your feet on the ground, keep reaching for the stars I think that was a quote from Casey Casum at the end of his Top 40 countdown here in the States and I hope that you will find the joy of living life without the bet.
D July 13, at 6: Ive had enough. All these wasted years so close behind, all my shallow tears flowing pointlessly away from my essence, an empty shell i have become. What is hardest is a good life is so agonisely close by. I never meant to hurt anyone. Karen Lee July 15, at 9: I can assure you that there are many like you who have done the same or worst.
No matter how dark and deep that hole is, I hope you will look for that light of recovery instead of taking a drastic step to end it all. If you have a feeling that life is not worth living and you consider suicide…remember reading this and stop yourself. Shay July 16, at 6: Pawned anything I could. I have done nothing but put us in the most preventable binds. Shay what you are describing is how we ALL feel and have done over and over again. Its a vicious cycle.
I moved to Las Vegas 4 years ago and had visited many times and never gambled. Then I finally broke up from a 20 year relationship and found gambling to be a distraction at 1st. Unfortunately I still fly to Vegas for business and theres a casino an hour n a half away from the new state I moved to. Ihope you have recovered since your message.
Im going to force myself to tell my dad my true situation today as I finally realize I cant help myself. Jules August 22, at 9: I have done things I never would have imagined doing due to my gambling addiction. I am a 57 yr old single female who is ruined. Nope, come Tuesday, life will be over for me. Bea Aikens August 25, at 8: Dear Jules, I am so sorry to hear of the depths your gambling addiction has taken you.
I remember feeling exactly as you do — so afraid, ashamed, unable to stop, hating myself for NOT stopping, and repeating the same vicious cycle again and again. I feel for you knowing that today you face some very big challenges, pain, fear, and a myriad of emotions. You may feel that you are all alone. Know that you are NOT alone. There is a whole community of folks in recovery from the very same addiction you describe who are here to support you. No matter how bad things look today, I promise you that it can and does get better.
All you have to do is reach out for help to begin the process of healing and living a life free from the bet One Day At A Time. Jules, these are not platitudes. Down the road I found peace of mind that I could have never envisioned. I found hope and help and friendship. Please reach out for help!
I will be thinking of you and praying for you! Carole November 3, at 2: It is November 3rd and I have just read your story. Well I hope you are able to read this. I was feeling so low and have hit rock bottom due to my gambling addiction and came across what you had written.
Well I am praying that you did not take your life because you can come back from this. And it was your story that has made me think positive and become strong as from this moment I am going to fight this every step of the way. Enough is enough I am so bloody angry at how much misery this gambling does to so many of us. We have all got each other to support. I started gambling on line two years ago and am now going to stop and it was reading your write up that shone a light for me.
Please let me know you are ok we will all get through this together. God bless. Hieu September 24, at 7: First I gambled on sports, then I started gambling on online casino. My parents have always paid for my debt all the time. I was afraid, and I was very hurt when thinking about my beloved ones.
But this is the end for me. Bea Aikens September 25, at 8: Look at how many people are in that arena Hieu! I am one of them. I would give anything to have my sister back. She took her life because of gambling addiction! Please, please, talk to your parents and your beloved wife. You will break their hearts if you commit suicide. You can heal your own heart if you reach out for help for your gambling addiction!
I know this as well as I too am a compulsive gambler and once felt as you do today. I was afraid and alone and so ashamed. That feeling passes when you share your secrets and realize that people will not reject you and you CAN recover from a gambling addiction. God Bless you Hieu!
Make the Call! Mark July 1, at 4: This Gambling is easily ruining my life. Please forgive me. Shelley September 26, at 7: Dear Hieu, My name is Shelley and I, too, am a compulsive gambler. I know the shame, guilt, and remorse that invariably accompanies the progression of this addiction. For me, thoughts of suicide were comforting at times because I believed it would end my pain. Pain is what drove me to gambling and what I sought to avoid.
For many years, the devastation my death would bring to those I loved kept me from acting on that impulse. The day I no longer cared about those left behind is the day I reached out for help. Although it may not feel like it right now, there is always a way out. Suicide is not the answer. Go to your parents and to your beloved wife. Explain to them your shame and remorse and, more importantly, explain to them your feeling of hopelessness and powerlessness and what these emotions nearly drove you to do.
A call helped save my life. Let your family love you and care for you until you are able to do it for yourself. Be brave and strong. Take the next step towards a new and better life. Make the call! Abu October 15, at Im 25 years old female from the philippines. Ive started gambling 2 years ago. I tried quitting but i kept coming back everytime. I am a business woman and now i am nothing.
Ive lost too much money over bacarrat. I feel like im the stupidest person to believe that i can invest my money in casinos. Now that i have left with nothing but a failure to my family and significant other i just want to be at peace and let the pain go away with my life in it. Somebody please help me. Bea Aikens November 30, at 3: Dear Jim — You started your message by asking for help. And Help IS available Jim! Are you open to it? Have you tried to stop before — on your own? Have you tried counseling or 12 step meetings?
I am not a therapist- but I will be happy to talk with you ANY time! There is a huge community of recovering compulsive gamblers ready to help. All you have to do is pick up the phone: Jericho December 2, at 4: I could not help but cry reading all your gambling addiction stories for the very reason that I can relate to them.
I just arrived today from the casino and i lost the money I have saved for a few months within 30 minutes of playing the slots. Last time, on my way home from the casino I had to travel 2 hours by train to get to the nearest one as I banned myself in the ones in town , I tried to reflect on my growing addiction by recapping my story from a 3rd point of view.
I want to share it with everybody. He sat there, lost in his reverie. His disturbed thoughts changed as fast as the kaleidoscopic scenery outside the train window. He clasped and sought comfort from the gold plated rosary with an angel pendant he always carried in his wallet. Both objects were gifts, the rosary from his friend and the angel pendant from his partner.
He uttered some words while holding the religious trinkets, pleading them help as if they could hear him. He badly needed some relief from the unexplainable feeling of remorse and self-loathe which began to consume his whole being as soon as he got out of the casino with an empty pocket. It was the same feeling he had in the past when he found himself in the same situation.
He proceeded to search for himself, his very essence, the very core of his being. He felt empty. A few months before, he thought he made progress as he could finally speak about his affliction openly with a professional and with some family members. His partner who found out what he was up to, in the months of acting bizarrely before he was caught red handedly, immediately asked this form of intervention from the municipal social services.
It was one of his terms and conditions, if they were to continue their relationship. He submitted to this professional help without any hesitation. He was afraid and felt embarrassed. He was at his lowest. Factor the time he spent playing and you have a serious example of time and resources wasted.
Well, perhaps, that was a bit of an exaggeration but if you include the fact that he was a student and he was largely dependent on his partner and his parents for his day to day living, this preoccupation was more than serious.
Somewhat traumatized by what he could actually do, his partner became distrustful of him and temporarily took control of his finances. He willingly accepted this intervention. Somehow he was relieved that he was banned from the casinos and that he had no more access of excess money.
He felt a sense of safety and empowerment. Most importantly, he felt a great sense of relief. All those episodes of lying to his partner, in-laws and friends were over. Now, he could look at them in the eyes again. I wish my story ended that way with no more continuation. The sad truth is I am on a relapse since March this year. I am afraid to disappoint them again.
Steve December 5, at I leave my family everyday to go to casinos I treat them all like shit I am completely embarrassed with myself. I stopped gambling for 90 days after being in GA about 5 months ago and then since then my life has been a complete disaster. I am to ashamed to even walk back into a GA room or talk to anyone from there. Nomorecards February 10, at 3: Hi there.
Black Jack. I do not trust myself. I finally came to this realization yesterday. I travel to tribal casinos where the odds are terrible. I am having trouble facing myself. Somehow I rationalized it was mine. I told myself that only part of it was theirs. I was holding it for someone else. My boyfriend is tumbling.
I think he may need to leave me in order to survive. My spirit is very low. I want to change this around. Its going to take a lot of work. Lisa February 24, at 5: Last night I won on horse races then lost it in video lottery … after cashing in winnings. I stayed out half the night and called off sick from work. I felt depressed ashamed and worthless and still contemplating suicide.
I am 40 and have been struggling with this addiction for half my life. I have tried holiness, GA, addiction services… nothing has worked I am at a loss on how to stop… recently I stopped for two or three weeks. Soon as I have a few dollars… I find my way back to the machines. I am unsure what else to try to defeat this addiction. Gambling is a disease for sure. I lost my father due to his addiction to gambling last year. The answer to what i could have done to prevent this from happening just bother me day and night.
I do know the grief of losing someone dear to our heart and believe me, there is nothing worst than this. Just think how bad and desperate your dear ones, your family, your friends, your collegues will feel about your lost. I will say it again and again- there is always a way out and suicide is not the solution.
Try calling any anonymous gambling associations or visit the website below:. You may feel ashamed of what you have done, but remember that you are not the only one that make mistakes, everyone else do. Accept it that you are ill and HELP from someone is the only remedy and believe me, this will do good to yourself.
Ask for help. There is nothing to be ashamed of when seeking help and remember that life is a gift from the great almighty that does not need to be wasted at any cost. There are ups and downs in life and our job is to face them fiercely without losing hope. Just know that brighter days are waiting for you if you ask for help for your gambling addiction. Daniel April 26, at I am going to kill myself tonight! They are evil bastards, the bailiffs! Goodbye everyone and hope you can all sort yourself out!
Please go outside and see the beauty. It hurts so much to lose a loved one to suicide. Unmeasurable pain that never goes away!!!!!!!! Please breathe and live. Kinyua Njeri April 28, at 7: Gambling sites have penetrated into the economies and this way, they are ripping off every piece of sanity and sobriety from kids. Almost every month, the http: Guys, this is serious! I just say that I am tired. But I am really depressed about the gambling. I have a house and a car and a job.
Not even another month. Gambling is like heroin addiction. The only way to get out of it is to die. I m divorced because of it, I am alone because of it, I waste a lot of my life because o fit. I could paint my house or plant a garden or wash my clothes, something constructive instead of hours and hours at a slot machine. I look around at other women there and none of us are happy. There is no reason to go on.
I have nothing to look forward to. I am tired. Cguy May 29, at 9: Hi Gina, I know your pain. But you have a 16 and 18 year old. They are enough reason to want to stick around. I know the pain your feeling… Oh believe me I know! Life is so beautiful and precious. There are so many people that love you and will be so wounded when you leave.
Life can be challenging this we know. Death is unknown. Know this that the stars, the moon, the sun, will always be there for you. Go outside and see the beauty. Live, breath, dance, yell, scream, let it out, and find support and help now. WE need you. Jill June 18, at 3: Please do not end your life. Your kids may be 16 and 18, and eve though they are technically old enough to take care of themselves, that does not mean they do not need you. Try to put yourself in the opposite position.
If one of your kids told you they wanted to end their life because of a gambling addiction how would that hurt you? You would do everything in your power to stop it and help them. Please reach out and let them know you need help and that you love them or call one of the many hotlines listed on this forum. I am stressed and depressed over a gambling problem too and I found this site after googling the correlation between suicide and gambling.
I thought about suicide briefly but the thought scares me and I always try to think of my family and how it would devastate them. Gambling is awful but there is always help. I actually stopped for a couple of years and have recently relapsed. I also struggle with opiate addiction and am currently prescribed methadone maintenance therapy. Just like there is help for a drug addiction there is always help for gambling as well, so please reach out and seek support in others who are struggling as well.
I hope you feel better and again please do not harm yourself. I am here if you need to chat. David July 17, at I am I am unmarried and lonely. Thank God I am into many sports like paddleball, handball, badminton and chess. I also go out time to time. Due to this I was going to casino. I have lost my past two jobs due to gambling. The 2nd job I lost because I used to call sick a lot as I was upset losing lots of money in the night, and felt like shit in the morning.
Casino is only 10 mins away from me. So it was hard for me to stop myself. I am sharing a house with my parents and brothers. They are very nice with me. They never bother me even if I miss a monthly rent payment. But I used to treat them really bad, now I am gradually coming to my senses. I am currently working on building my business. I have some success on it, but I am trying to be more successful. I am gradually working to establish my business, and hope one day I will not have any emotion for gambling..
Comefindmedead October 8, at 5: No one understands us. No one can relate to us. Sometimes death is the only way to change a behavior. And they do. Bea Aikens October 28, at 1: I posted your comments just as you wrote them, as your expression of frustration and pain is palpable. I am so sorry that you are feeling this way, and, I can tell you from first-hand experience that I do understand and I can relate, as can many others who struggle with gambling addiction.
Life can be different and so much better. Recovery is not one-size-fits-all. The steps work for me and for many folks I know with gambling addiction. You can reach out to a therapist or a certified problem gambling counselor. You are fighting a life-threatening mental health disorder. This does not make you a bad person or a flawed person …it makes you a person with a chronic illness in need of treatment. Including me. With help, You can regain control of your life and live a better life in recovery.
Matt December 20, at 3: As I have read all these comments I feel exactly the same. I feel sick to my back teeth of feeling this way. Sucidal thoughts and tears are all thats been on my mind the last 5 days I hate living like this. You are not alone! I pray that you have returned to meetings — if not, I pray that you DO! I understand too well that despair and pain — both from my own gambling addiction AND the loss of my sister Lanie due to her gambling-related overdose.
Please, please…. Help is as close as your phone. The hour Helpline is Life can, and DOES, get better! Fresh Start January 13, at 6: Over the past year it has progressively gotten worse. As each day passes by I lie to myself; constantly telling myself that this time will be different. It hurts because I have to go home and look at my wife and kids empty handed financially and emotionally. The thought of leaving the emptiness, depression and sadness behind seems appealing and sometimes it seems like the only way.
There is someone out there that feels my exact pain. In all fairness to my wife and kids I know I have to fight for my life and for them as well. I came here to see if my suicidal thoughts were normal. Neither should you! Vinny January 16, at 9: Get to them GA rooms and get around. People that will Support you get in recovery and just take one day at a time Forget about trying to win it all back Just let it go and start enjoying life and family and friends Will forgive you …it may take a little time but for now just focus On your recovery Blessings!!
What a sad a real commentary on the devastation gambling addiction can cause! You are right on…life gets so much better with the support of others who are recovering from a gambling addiction. We just want to help. Whether or not you are tempted to gamble, you may know someone who is having problems because of gambling. This lesson will help you to help others. This lesson addresses two issues—gambling and addiction to gambling.
It also relates those issues to your relationships with God and the people you love. He not only was obsessed with the hope of winning, he became so mesmerized while he was playing that he could shut out all thoughts of family responsibility. After that, his shame would trigger the next episode as he hoped to win back his heavy losses.
Then he would go home and face his family in fear and anguish. This never stopped him though; he continued and borrowed money from my husband and many others until he was so in debt he didn't know where to turn. At that point, the man could take no more and shot himself in the head to end it all. It was terribly sad. After his death my husband felt much guilt too. He wondered if he could have done more to help his friend. This is an example of typical collateral damage. Addictions and suicides lay a guilt trip and many other psychological burdens on the loved ones.
In this lesson we will address the gambling-related problems that are obvious, like spending the grocery money and becoming addicted to gambling. But first, what is wrong in principle with gambling? The fundamental issue is this: When one person wins money, it's because other people lost money.
Hoping to win means you are hoping that others will lose. Not just lose a contest or a prize—lose their money so you can win their money! In a casino, you may think in terms of the casino losing the money. But where does the casino get its money? From all the many disappointed people who lost their money—many of whom are poor and gamble in desperation, clinging to the fantasy of "rags to riches. It is win-lose-lose-lose-lose.
This is contrary to God's great commandment to love your neighbor. After all, "Love does no harm to a neighbor" Romans We're also instructed, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep" Romans God wants us to have true empathy for others!
In gambling, you feel like rejoicing only when others feel like weeping, and vice versa. We're told, "Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" Philippians 2: You'll be helping other people and helping society when you don't support the gambling industry.
For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money The mushrooming mania for gambling, especially in Western nations, is one major example of this prophecy being fulfilled. Only 50 years ago, most Christian Americans thought of all gambling as being evil. The gamblers went to Nevada and New Jersey.
But many things have changed. Today, most people don't read the Bible, know much of what it says or pay much attention to the Ten Commandments. Governments have legitimized gambling with state-run lotteries and other forms of legalized gambling. And people tend to think that if something is legal, it is mora—which often is not true. With the boom in betting comes the corrupting consequences: John 8: Just look at the statistics.
A large percentage of gamblers are already addicted. Many would not admit it, because they are in denial. A gambler may admit to having "a few problems" with it—like spending too much money, getting deeper into debt and spending too much time away from family—but it may take a major crisis "hitting bottom" before he or she admits to being a problem gambler, a compulsive gambler or an addicted gambler—enslaved to gambling.
We are creatures of habit. The more we do anything, the more it becomes routine. One bad habit leads to others, and a bad habit often becomes a psychological addiction, which is enslavement. God wants you to be free from bad habits and addictions. It's easy to see why gambling is addictive.
A win is a thrill that whets the appetite for more. A loss is often followed by more playing in hopes of recouping the loss. And, for many, it is escapism from reality and responsibility. The "Related Resources" listed below offer valuable guidance in dealing with addictions. Exodus Covet means desire, but it implies a wrong kind of desire, like greed.
When you gamble, you are coveting your "neighbor's" money. You are not earning the money or offering goods or services in exchange for his or her money. You want his money while offering nothing in return. Therefore, your desire for his money is coveting. And Paul said that covetousness is idolatry Colossians 3: Because it is a desire that is stronger than your desire to love God and put Him first in your life.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. Materialism—the love of money and the things money can buy—is related to coveting, and as this scripture shows, it is often self-destructive. Someone is materialistic when money and physical things have become more important than relationships and spiritual values. The Bible says, "How much better to get wisdom than gold!
And being materialistic can cause you to lose out on the most valuable thing of all—eternal life! Jesus said, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? Love can be defined as "the give way" rather than "the get way. He is the source of "every good gift and every perfect gift" James 1: Therefore, God wants us to follow His example and live a life of giving. Use your time, talents and energy to give to others.
Gambling, however, is focused on get, not give. Proverbs This verse is contrasting all "get-rich-quick" schemes, including gambling, with honestly earning an income. Consider also: Money gotten quickly usually disappears quickly. The Bible repeatedly praises hard work as noble and a key to success. See Proverbs Spend your time productively, such as in getting an education, working and serving others. How should parents teach their children about important issues of life, including gambling?
Deuteronomy 6: God encourages parents to make teaching an everyday part of life. This includes discussing good and bad examples from the news, from entertainment and from personal experiences. Tragically, real-life examples probably won't be hard to find. Some researchers consider gambling the fastest-growing teenage addiction.
The youth of America today have never seen life without legalized gambling, which makes it seem acceptable. Eventually many of them will be tempted and pressured by their peers to gamble. So what can we do to steer them in the right direction? Children need good role models.
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