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I was living in a gambling environment since I was young. My grandparents always played mahjong at home, and they would bet money at the jockey club on Sundays. One time my grandmother asked me to pick a horse that she would bet money on, and surprisingly she won the bet. After that, they would always ask me to pick the numbers when they were gambling. I began to feel very interested in gambling since then. As I grew up, I was surrounded by friends who were also very fond of gambling; we were interested in everything that was gambling-related—casino, mahjong, poker, etc. I spent most of my time at casinos, and all I cared was how to win more money. I became increasingly aggressive and greedy; I was addicted to gambling to a point that I felt uncomfortable when I was not gambling. Gambling had become my signature after being in this circle for years, and I even became a middleman for gamblers. Gamblers are very superstitious; I would worship different gods of wealth and fortune and wore good luck ornaments just to win more money.
At first, I thought I could control myself in the gambling area; but instead, gambling was gradually taking over me. I spent hundreds and thousands of dollars in gambling and I started borrowing money to gamble; I disregarded any consequence as well as my family. Slowly, I felt that gambling could no longer make me feel excited. Winning money could no longer make me happy, but losing money would affect my work, emotion, sleep, appetite, as well as my relationship with my wife and children. I was sick of this lifestyle, but I could not break free from this addiction by myself. There were many times that I decided to stop gambling, however, I would get back into the same lifestyle after a short period of time.
It was when I felt totally hopeless that God started working in my family. My wife started to attend church during that time; because of her transformation, I decided to accompany her and see if this God could transform me also. As I started to attend church and pray regularly, I began to know the loving Father as well as Jesus who saved me by His death and resurrection. As I knew about the decrees of God and the consequence of sin, I determined to walk into the path that God has prepared for me and to completely break free from gambling. At first, I always faced many temptations when I saw my friends gambling. There was an inner voice saying that, “it was just a game!” and “you can definitely control yourself!” But at the same time, there was another voice saying that “be aware!” I knew the Holy Spirit was reminding me. Thus I prayed silently to God to help me overcome such temptation and rebuked the evil spirit of gambling. The Bible said, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). I knew I could not break free from the gambling addiction by myself, but “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). My brothers and sisters interceded for me as I also prayed eagerly for myself. God’s words began to strengthen me, and gradually I became firmer when temptation comes. I even got to use my own experience and testimony to help other gamblers. God really answered my prayers; when I trust in Him, He helps me to break free entirely from the addiction. God’s love fulfills my heart, so I no longer find pleasure in gambling. My transformation amazed all my gambling friends. May all the glory and praise be to the Lord.