For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. – 1 Timothy 6:10
“I’m just in a mess, Israel! Could you believe that out of the $2500 I had to my name a while ago? I’m now only left with $10! My rent is overdue. I don’t even know what to tell my landlord this time. I’m sure he’ll kick me out,” the man in his thirties shamefully and remorsefully admitted. The man had gambled all of his money away. After he confided in me, I thanked him for sharing. I counseled him, prayed with him, and encouraged him to stay in touch.
A few days later, a woman came to see me in the office, but seeing that I was busy with someone else at the moment, she left me a letter and left. Here is an excerpt from her letter. “Dear Israel, something evil is happening to me. Every time I get paid, I keep doing the same old mistake. I step into the bar; one drink, and one game. On and on it goes, and at the end, NO money! My fridge is empty again! I’m sick. Pray for me.”
My heart went out for this dear woman after reading her two paged letter. We prayed for her. Sadly, some of our street guests gamble each time they receive money. In hopes of winning while gambling, they shut out all thoughts of responsibility and consequences. After playing and losing, shame kicks in and they stand in our soup line again. Gambling addiction can cause debt, ruin family relationships, and even lead to suicide. Praise God for those who admit that they have this problem and open up to us about it so that they may receive help. Jesus can free anyone from any addiction.