If you were to complete the above phrase, what would you say? Most would end with, “…but how you play the game.” It is a common phrase which has been used through the years to teach the value of such characteristics as fair play, concern for others and the like as opposed to the “do whatever it takes to win” attitude.
I remember a commercial I saw on the television and all you could see was a man flipping a coin through his fingers as he was on a plane. Several scenes were like this, then the plane landed the man rose and put on his jacket and the announcer said, “Whoever said ‘it’s not whether you win or lose’ wasn’t playing for money.”The picture then changed to the name and logo for a gambling casino.
Many times we have been asked, “What is wrong with gambling?” While there are several answers that could be given, this commercial really “says it all.” The writer of this commercial, the purveyors of gambling, and the participants in this ungodly activity all would agree – “Whoever said ‘it’s not whether you win or lose’ wasn’t playing for money.” Now how does that attitude compare with the Bible characteristics we try to teach others and display ourselves such as fair play (Matthew 7:12) and loving concern for others (John 13:35)? Do we really believe that those who pay the money for a lottery ticket or roll those dice are wishing the best for others? Do we really believe they are concerned with fair play and honesty? No, it is like the commercial said, “Whoever said ‘it’s not whether you win or lose’ wasn’t playing for money.”
Jack H. Williams