Are you a gambler? Is it possible you have a gambling addiction? Answer the following questions honestly and open your heart to God.
Questions a Gambler Should Ask:
1. Consider the things in your life of value to you. They can include family and friends, activities you enjoy or find meaningful. How much time do you devote to each of these valuable things?
2. How much time do you devote to gambling during a week? Contrast that amount of time with the time you put down for the valuable things in your life.
3. Think about how you feel when you gamble. Are those feelings negative or positive? If they are negative, consider why you engage in an activity that promotes negative feelings. If they are positive, how long do those positive feelings last? Do they outlast the gambling activity itself, or do they dissipate as soon as you have stopped gambling?
4. With busy lives, often decisions must be made about how to spend our time. Think back over the past six months. How many times has a decision about whether to gamble come up against a need to do another activity? This could be time spent with family or friends, time spent working, even time spent relaxing or sleeping. How often has gambling won out over these other things and at what cost?
5. When you think back over your gambling, does it seem like you enjoyed it more at the beginning or now? If it has changed over time, can you remember when the transition occurred?
6. Do you feel isolated from your family or friends when you gamble? Do you feel as if they are unable to understand the way you feel about it? If they are out of touch with gambling, do you feel they are out of touch with you?
7. When other people have questioned you about your gambling, how have you felt? Do you feel they are invading your privacy by questioning you? Do you feel defensive about your gambling?
8. How honest have you been with others about how much time you spend gambling and/or how much money you spend gambling? Do you find yourself trying to hide or cover up the truth about your gambling?
9. When you are in the midst of gambling, do you ever feel like you are getting away with something? How does that make you feel? Bad? Excited?
10. Consider your gambling over the past six months. Now consider your spirituality over the past six months. Has your gambling increased and your spirituality decreased? Have you missed your connection with God? Would you be willing to alter your gambling behavior if it meant being closer to God?
11. Think about all of the things gambling promises. Honestly evaluate how much of a motivation those things are in your life. Do you desire them too much? Is gambling really the way to achieve them?
12. When you are gambling, do you engage in activities you feel guilty about? Do you drink or smoke excessively while gambling? Do you flirt or engage in sexual conversations with other gamblers? Does gambling strengthen your resolve to live a godly life or does it weaken you?
13. If you had to give up gambling or your loved ones tomorrow, which would you choose? Having chosen to give up the first thing —gambling —did you still wish you could somehow continue to have both? Were you relieved it was only a question and not a reality?
14. If you had to give up gambling or God tomorrow, which one would you choose? Have you made this choice already?
These questions were excerpted from the book, Turning the Tables on Gambling, written by Gregory L. Jantz, published by Shaw Books. Dr Jantz is a psychotherapist specializing in addictive behaviors. He presents a Christian view of the habit of gambling. He also challenges Christians to ask themselves hard questions about gambling and pulls no punches. This makes this candid and informed book a much-needed resource for Christians.