What Shall I Do?

In life, we are often faced with challenging decisions that test our principles and convictions. One such dilemma is whether we should accept something we are against, especially if it promises substantial profit. Should we stand firm in our beliefs, or is there room for compromise when faced with life-altering opportunities? To explore this moral quandary, let's delve into a real-life story that raises these questions.

Staying True to Your Beliefs

Meet Henry and Lauretta, a devoted couple who have been married for 26 years and have been faithful members of their church for over 30 years. Their story is one of unwavering faith and a strong commitment to their beliefs.

Henry has a deep-rooted aversion to the lottery, stemming from painful childhood memories. His father, in years long past, squandered their family's money on lottery tickets, leaving them struggling to make ends meet. This traumatic experience left an indelible mark on Henry, shaping his steadfast belief that the lottery is a vice that leads to financial ruin.

In their church community, Henry takes on the role of leading the street ministry, a position of great responsibility. He and his team of dedicated church members distribute religious pamphlets and engage in heartfelt conversations with passersby. Most notably, they stand outside a store where people frequently purchase lottery tickets. Their mission is clear: to encourage individuals to join the church and break free from the grasp of lottery addiction.

The Unexpected Christmas Gift

One fateful Christmas, Henry's neighbor handed him a greeting card, a seemingly innocent gesture. However, inside the card lay an unexpected surprise—a lottery ticket. Henry was taken aback and, understandably, upset by this gift. It felt like a betrayal of his principles, a direct challenge to his mission to dissuade people from playing the lottery.

During the Christmas event, Lauretta noticed the lottery ticket and, out of curiosity, decided to scratch it. To her astonishment, the ticket revealed that her husband had won a staggering 5 million dollars. Her heart filled with joy at the unexpected windfall, but she was torn by a deep sense of responsibility and fear of how Henry would react if he found out.

Lauretta now faces an agonizing decision. Should she cash in the lottery ticket, knowing that it goes against her husband's fervent beliefs and their mission within the church? Or should she consult Henry about her discovery and let him decide the ticket's fate?

In one scenario, Lauretta could choose to keep the win a secret, using the money for their family's benefit without Henry ever knowing. Alternatively, she could honor her husband's convictions by returning the check to their neighbor, thus maintaining their unwavering stance against lottery games.

A Lesson from Acts 9:1-17

This moral conundrum brings to mind a compelling parallel from the Book of Acts 9:1-17. In this scripture, we encounter Saul, a devout Pharisee who zealously persecuted early Christians. However, during a transformative encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, Saul's life took an extraordinary turn. He converted to Christianity and became known as the apostle Paul, one of the most influential figures in the early Christian church.

The lesson we can glean from Saul's transformation is the power of change, redemption, and the capacity for individuals to evolve in their beliefs. Just as Saul underwent a profound transformation from persecutor to preacher, we can draw parallels to Henry's situation. Is it possible for Henry to reconsider his stance on the lottery and use this unexpected fortune for a greater purpose within the church or their community?

While the circumstances of Saul's conversion and Henry's dilemma may appear vastly different, they share a common thread—the potential for individuals to reevaluate their beliefs and embrace change when faced with transformative experiences. Saul's encounter with Christ led him to abandon his former convictions and devote himself to a new cause. Similarly, Henry's unexpected windfall challenges him to reconsider his stance on the lottery and its potential impact on their church and community.

Intriguing Questions for Reflection

  1. How can Lauretta navigate the delicate balance between her husband's beliefs and the financial opportunity presented by the lottery ticket?
  2. Is it ethical for Lauretta to keep the lottery winnings a secret from Henry, knowing that it contradicts their shared principles?
  3. Should Henry take this opportunity to reevaluate his stance on the lottery and consider using the winnings for a greater purpose within their church or community?
  4. What can we learn from the transformative experiences of individuals like Saul in the Bible, and how can these lessons be applied to real-life situations like Henry's dilemma?
  5. How do we reconcile the tension between personal convictions and unexpected opportunities for financial gain, and what ethical considerations should guide our decisions in such circumstances?

In the end, Henry and Lauretta's story reminds us that life often presents us with complex moral choices. The outcome of their dilemma will ultimately depend on their values, their faith, and their willingness to embrace change when faced with life-altering opportunities. As we reflect on their journey, we are encouraged to examine our own beliefs and consider how we might navigate similar challenges in our own lives.