Is Luck a Sin?
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Is Luck a Sin?

Luck is something that many people believe in and rely on in life. The dictionary defines luck as “success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.” However, as Christians, we know that nothing happens merely by chance – God is sovereign over all things. So is trusting in luck and believing that random chance controls outcomes sinful for a Christian? Let’s explore what the Bible says about luck and whether Christians should avoid relying on it.

Key Takeaways:

  • Luck is trusting in chance rather than God’s sovereignty
  • The Bible clearly teaches God’s sovereignty and rejecting that is sinful
  • Believing in luck is relying on an unbiblical worldview of random chance
  • Christians should rely on God’s wisdom and providence, not luck
  • Superstitions around luck should be avoided as they distract from trusting God

What Does “Luck” Actually Mean?

To understand if luck is sinful, we first need to understand what people actually mean by “luck.” For those who believe in it, luck is some mysterious force in the universe that randomly causes good or bad fortune. Essentially, it is the belief that life outcomes are determined by pure chance rather than any rational forces. When someone says “good luck” to another person, they usually mean something like “I hope random chance brings you success.” Luck becomes the primary determining factor in whether someone succeeds or fails.

From a Christian perspective, this definition of luck as pure chance is deeply problematic. The Bible clearly teaches that God is sovereign over all Creation, not just in the big picture but also in the minute details. Consider the following verses:

“The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33 NKJV)

“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will” (Matthew 10:29 NKJV)

These verses teach that even things that seem purely random like casting lots or sparrows falling are actually under the oversight of a sovereign God. Biblically speaking, there is no such thing as pure chance. God’s sovereignty extends even to the smallest details.

The Sin of Trusting in Luck

If the Bible rejects the notion of pure chance, then trusting in “luck” means trusting in something that doesn’t align with reality. It means relying on an imaginary force rather than the real and powerful God described in Scripture. This is highly problematic for the Christian.

Firstly, trusting in luck can lead to passivity and foolishness. If we believe random chance alone determines outcomes, we see little need to make wise and thoughtful choices. We also become passive by not praying or seeking God’s will diligently. The book of Proverbs consistently warns against passivity and foolishness and calls people to wisdom. Relying on luck encourages the opposite attitude. As Christians, we are called to step out in faith while using the wisdom God grants us.

Secondly, trusting in luck is proud and arrogant. If we believe that capricious fortune controls life outcomes, we don’t see the need to humble ourselves before God’s sovereignty. We act as if we don’t need His gracious provision. Believing in luck emphasizes the self rather than relying on God. However, the Bible consistently condemns pride and calls on us to walk in humility before God. Trusting in luck leads to pride in human autonomy.

Finally, trusting in luck leaves us anxious. If random chance governs the universe, we can have no security or confidence about the future. Life becomes a rollercoaster of ups and downs beyond our control. This invariably leads to deep anxiety. As Christians, we have the privilege of resting in God’s loving sovereignty. He promises to work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). Therefore, we need not be anxious but can trust in divine providence.

The wise King Solomon summarizes why trusting in luck is so foolish:

“The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance is of the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31 NKJV)

While we should make practical preparations, our trust cannot be in chance but rather in the Lord who sovereignly controls all outcomes.

Superstitions About Luck

For some people, luck becomes less about a philosophical worldview and more like a superstition. Specific actions are thought to bring you good luck or ward off bad luck. For example, some believe that finding a four-leaf clover, crossing one’s fingers, or carrying a rabbit’s foot will bring good fortune. Other superstitions attempt to avoid bad luck – like not walking under ladders or avoiding black cats.

As Christians, we must reject all such superstitions. They reflect a pagan worldview that does not line up with Scripture. In the Old Testament, relying on superstitions and omens was directly condemned:

“There shall not be found among you anyone who…practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12 NKJV)

Many modern superstitions around luck have pagan origins. Participating in them indicates we trust created objects rather than the Creator. Paul warns against following “worthless things” (Acts 14:15) rather than God. Superstitious practices distract our hearts from the Lord.

Some Christians try to defend seemingly harmless superstitions as cultural practices. However, we must examine our hearts. Even traditions done in innocence can reveal misplaced trust. Redeeming any cultural practices requires filtering them through Scripture. We must remove anything promoting unbiblical views of luck or chance.

God’s Sovereignty Over All Things

Scripture repeatedly affirms that God reigns supreme over everything, working all things according to His perfect will. He controls all outcomes, not vague luck or chance. Consider the following biblical teachings:

God is sovereign over nations and history. He raises up and topples kings based on His divine plan (Daniel 2:21). All of history unfolds according to His will, even evil actions (Genesis 50:20). There are no random events or meaningless occurrences from God’s perspective.

God is sovereign over nature and animals. The Bible describes natural phenomena like storms obeying God’s commands (Psalm 148:1-8). Even animals like eagles, ravens, and sparrows live and die by God’s decree (Matthew 10:29). Nature does not control itself autonomously.

God is sovereign over people’s decisions. God can move people to make decisions according to His will, even those rebelling against Him (Proverbs 21:1). Our steps are ordered by the Lord, not random chance (Jeremiah 10:23). God’s sovereignty does not negate free will but rather works through human choices.

God is sovereign over seemingly random events. Games of chance and difficult life situations come under God’s authority. He prevented Israel’s soldiers from being hit by arrows through random chance (1 Chronicles 21:30). God compares His attentive care to sparrows and numbered hairs – details that seem insignificant (Luke 12:6-7).

God can overrule any circumstance. No situation takes God by surprise or exists outside His control, whether positive or deeply tragic. As Joseph said to his brothers, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20 NKJV). No secondary cause thwarts God’s ultimate plans.

This biblical view directly contradicts any notion of luck as pure chance. Christians affirm God’s meticulous sovereignty based on Scripture’s consistent revelation. Nothing happens outside of God’s loving purposes.

Trusting in God’s Providence

Since luck represents an unbiblical way of viewing the world, Christians must reject relying on it in any way. We do not believe in a capricious universe where random chance calls the shots. Instead, we trust in the all-wise and loving God revealed in Scripture.

Concretely, this means relying on God’s providence in every area of life. Theologian Wayne Grudem defines providence as “God is continually involved with all created things in such a way that he (1) keeps them existing and maintaining the properties with which he created them; (2) cooperates with created things in every action, directing their distinctive properties to cause them to act as they do; and (3) directs them to fulfill his purposes.”

This active, moment-by-moment outworking of God’s sovereign will is what Christians trust in rather than luck. Since God directs all things to fulfill His wise plans, we can have confidence that the future holds good not evil (Jeremiah 29:11). Even amid confusing times, we know God works powerfully on behalf of His children (Romans 8:28). He will complete the work He begins in us (Philippians 1:6).

This providential care brings us freedom from anxiety. When buffeted by circumstances, we need not resign ourselves to luck. Through prayer and faith, we access God’s guidance and help (Hebrews 4:16). We experience the peace of surrendering outcomes to the Lord (Philippians 4:6-7). God invites us to cast all our cares upon Him because He cares for us as His children (1 Peter 5:7).

Living by God’s providence also brings wisdom for decision making. We do not passively drift along thoughtlessly. Through prayer and biblical wisdom, we actively participate in discerning God’s will for our lives. Wise decisions require effort but also complete dependence on the Lord. We humbly submit our will to God’s perfect plan. This allows us to walk in the works prepared for us rather than stumbling blindly (Ephesians 2:10).

Finally, trusting God’s providence grants us boldness to take risks for His kingdom. Instead of clinging to superficial luck charms, we rely on the Lord’s power and miraculous provisions. When facing giants like Goliath, we can have courage by trusting not in chance but in the living God (1 Samuel 17). Knowing God reigns over history grants boldness to live counter-culturally for Christ. His sovereign care dispels all fear.

In Summary

Is trusting in luck sinful for Christians? Biblically speaking, relying on luck represents a denial of God’s sovereign rule over Creation. Luck stems from an unbiblical worldview that sees life as governed by random chance rather than a trustworthy God. Not only is luck philosophically incorrect, but the Bible directly condemns relying on superstitions, omens, and pagan practices that characterize luck.

Instead, Christians affirm and rely on God’s wise providence in all things. He directs all circumstances to fulfill His perfect plans for His children. While we use wisdom in making choices, we also surrender outcomes completely to the Lord. This grants freedom from anxiety, boldness in taking risks, and deep confidence that God works all things for our eternal good. By rejecting luck in all its forms, we bear witness to the glorious truth that our lives are in the hands of an all-powerful and loving God.

Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.