Planning ahead?

What is the purpose of insurance?  The knee-jerk answer is that insurance is there to help you when you are in trouble, to lessen the financial burden when you have need of it.

But really, while all of this is true; insurance is to restore your life to the way it was before you had need of said insurance.  If your house burns down, insurance is designed to get you in a new house with replacements for all of your stuff instantly.  If you have an car
accident, insurance is to make your car the way it was before you had the accident.  If you are sick, insurance is to make you well, the way you were before you got sick.

Planning ahead for better or for worse is a good thing.  But should you really plan for a
disaster or a failure before you even begin?

In the old days, buying insurance was a sign that you did not trust in God to protect you.
A lot of people lost their homes, not to mention their churches, to fire and flood because they did not buy insurance.  If you trust in God to protect you, then you do not need insurance; and if your house burns down, it is because God wanted it to burn down.

But have we taken this idea of insurance to far?

Take the matter of signing a pre-nuptial agreement before you get married.  This normally
applies to people who have a lot of money or property to lose should they get divorced.  A pre-nuptial is an insurance policy against someone who is only looking for a pay day.  Now there are a lot of people in the world who would try to take advantage of people and so pre-nuptial agreements may help protect one; but there is still the issue that one is planning for divorce before one even gets married.  How can one honestly stand before the altar in a church and promise to love and cherish their spouse until death do they part when they have a pre-nuptial agreement in their back pocket just in case it does not work out?

Or take the recent example here in Kansas where the legislature voted to prohibit health insurance companies from including abortions in their general health care coverage packages.  Rep. Pete DeGraaf wants women to buy an additional coverage option just in case they get raped or their life is in danger and they need an abortion.  He compared it to carrying a spare tire in one’s car.

Again, we have women, who are not yet pregnant, having an option in their back pocket just in case they do.

What happened to the idea that God will provide for His people no matter the circumstances?  It should be noted that the family tree of Jesus includes a woman who was
raped who then bore a son who continued the family line to get to Jesus.  Then there is Mary who became pregnant as a teenager, the age bracket most likely to have an abortion.  Mary of course went on to give birth to Jesus, who would save the world from its sins.

Should one prepare for things that might happen?  Absolutely; you should plan for
the day when lightening may strike your house, or the flood waters rise to high, or the doctor tells you that you need major surgery.

But planning for divorce before you are even married; or planning for an abortion before you are even pregnant?  That is wrong. The difference is that insurance is designed to put
your life back together as quickly as possible, and to make it appear as if nothing had ever happened.  The goal of an insurance company if you are in a car accident is to get you either your car or a new car to you as fast as possible so that you can continue driving as if there were never and accident at all.  Divorce and abortion do not work that way.  Once you get divorced, once you have an abortion, there is no going back to the way things were before.

Abortion and divorce leave scars far worse than those of a surgery.  To have these
ready-to-go options at one’s disposal without even taking a few days to think things through, without allowing for input from others who are qualified to render an opinion; without thinking any further then beyond what will make one happy today.  If you get sick, you need help today.  If your house burns down, you need help today.  But if you are
unhappy in your marriage, you can take a few weeks or months to try to work things out.  If you are pregnant, you can put the baby up for adoption after you give birth.

At the beginning of the 20th century, many people refused to buy insurance thinking it was questioning one’s trust in God.  Today, we have done away with the idea that insurance in bad; unfortunately we have also done away with the idea of trusting in God to take care of us.

God will take care of you and provide for you if you get sick or your house burns down.  And God will also take care of you during rough spots in your marriage, and He will
take care of you when you are pregnant.  Insurance is a good thing, but insurance is not for everything.

About revschmidt

An LCMS Pastor in North-Central Kansas
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