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“Protection”… at what cost?

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I said in a previous post that the topic of insurance is a topic for another day. Well, today is another day, so here it is… discuss amongst yourselves. Does someone who is seeking to be obedient to Jesus’ commands in everything they say and do, really need insurance?

Here’s where I’m going with my suppositions… over and over, Jesus tells us to help the poor, relieve the oppressed, comfort the suffering. IF we believers are doing that as much as is in our physical and financial power to do the things He has commanded, can we not count on Him being faithful to take care of us should something happen?

If I am using, say $1500 or more a year out of my salary to spend on insurance for some future event that might never happen, is that not money that could have (should have) been spent on relieving present suffering of others? Insurance is my squirreling away money for something that might not ever happen, while people around me are in dire need. If I take that money and put it to use in a way that helps others, can I not count on God to a) keep me safe, or b) take care of my needs if something does happen to me?

I think that, because we have lost our sense of community, we are not as apt to have access to the kind of insurance I believe God would be more inclined to approve of. It works in much the say way that the Amish function. If you lose your house to fire, the community will come together to help you build again. And the next time something happens to someone else in the community, you participate in helping that person get back on their feet as well… something like sweat equity.

Insurance as we know it today has only been around in late modern times… around the late 1600s, according to an article in Wikipedia. (And before you start in on me… no, just because something is old, I don’t think it has more value, and just because something is new, it doesn’t have less value, nor vice-versa. I’m looking at this from a spiritual principle point of view, not from a “we didn’t use to do it this way” point of view.) So there have been people through centuries who have gone through life without insurance. Granted, I’m sure many of them probably ended up dying, being crippled, or lost their homes, or whatever because they didn’t have the funds to pay for medical help or buy a new home. But you know what, we’re gonna die anyway, and some will end up crippled and possessions will be lost, even with insurance. I think I’d rather die knowing that my resources went to help someone else, than die knowing that all of the insurance premiums I spent just went to help make a bloated institution even bigger. [And a little off-topic, speaking of losing possessions, I saw a quote the other day that I liked: If you want to know how rich you are, think of all the things in your life that money can’t buy.]

I was reading in Matthew again today, and Jesus was talking to the disciples about the cost of following him. In Matt. 6:25, Jesus is apparently addressing their concerns about being itinerant disciples who’ve just given up their livelihood. He tells them not to worry about what they will eat, drink, and wear, culminating in the admonition to “strive first for the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.” (Let me make it clear here that I am no proponent of the prosperity gospel. I think it’s one of the most foul principles ever to come out of a misinterpretation of scripture! This was an obvious reference to the basics of food, drink, and clothing that Jesus had just talked about in the preceding verses.)

In chapter 7, Jesus asks if there are those among them who would give their child a stone when they ask for bread, and He says, no, even we know how to give good gifts to our children. How much more will God give good things to those who ask Him. (Notice He will give us good things, not just anything.) And later, in chapter 10, Jesus tells the disciples not to take money with them when he sends them out, but to count on the hospitality of the people who receive them. And he tells them not to worry, that they are worth more than sparrows and even the hairs on their heads are numbered.

What I’m getting from all of this is that if we are truly seeking to do what is good and right in God’s sight, using our time and resources and pouring out our lives in service to others, then He will take care of us. I do believe that one huge problem of modern times is materialism, so we think of what we “need” as being the trappings of comfort and amusement that we surround ourselves with. I don’t think there’s any indication in scripture that we can expect God to provide us with expensive cars and big houses, and such. If anyone deserved all that, it would have been Jesus! But he says of himself, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head,” (Matt. 8:20). And He said that in response to a scribe who said that he wanted to follow Him. Jesus was letting the man know that following Him meant not having the things he was used to having. Does this mean Jesus calls us all to homelessness? I don’t think so, but I suppose if having a home means standing in the way of a real surrender to His call, then maybe so. (i.e. the rich, young ruler—Mark 10:17-21)

I truly have to wonder about what God thinks about us believers using our resources to protect ourselves against something that might never happen, especially when real and present need is all around us. Am I at that leap of faith yet? Not yet, but I want to be. How much more would the world be impacted if they saw believers acting in obedience with all (or at least more) of our resources to the commands of Jesus, and then being protected and provided for in supernatural ways. I think it would be a lot more impressive than seeing us standing in line at the claim office with everyone else.

Thoughts? Anyone?


Written by blogicalinks

October 25, 2006 at 7:36 pm

Posted in Seeking

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