Should Christians Buy Insurance?
- Friday, January 26, 2007
In researching this article I ran across a copy of a letter in my files dated October 1991. Although it’s been nearly fifteen years, it is still one of the most impassioned letters I have ever written. I sent it to one of my closest associates pleading with him to pay attention to his health insurance needs. At the time, Jeff (not his real name) had just dodged a bullet that could have cost him his life. His father had died of cancer a few years earlier, and it had appeared that the son also might have the disease. Thankfully, Jeff got good news. But through the ordeal, it became obvious that he did not have adequate health coverage.
Because of the closeness of our families, I decided to write to Jeff urging him to get the insurance as soon as possible. He needed the protection not only for himself, but also for his wife and three children. As one who battled heart disease, I was convinced that having proper health coverage was one of the most important acts of love Jeff could show his family. I had personal experience with the high cost of medical care, and the difficulty of getting good coverage after an illness is diagnosed. Thankfully, Jeff decided to buy the insurance he needed.
I say “thankfully” because about three years ago his wife was diagnosed with a serious form of cancer. Thankfully, the Lord has blessed them and she responded well to treatment. Today she continues to do very well. But, during those dark days three years ago, the money was available to pay for good quality medical care which no doubt contributed to her recovery and peace of mind.
The Philosophical Question
If I were writing this primarily to a secular audience, I probably wouldn’t say some of what follows. However, because of the Christian worldview many of us hold, I want to address the issue of buying insurance and its relationship to trusting God to provide. In my No Debt No Sweat! Christian Money Management Seminar, insurance is always part of what we cover.
I still remember a Christian radio program I heard a number of years ago. On this particular day the host was visiting with an evangelist who traveled the country preaching the Good News of Jesus. While I admired much of what he had to say, I was really disappointed by part of his presentation. At one point in the conversation he began to brag about the fact that he carried no health insurance and that he simply trusted God to provide. With that, he told a story about some health expenses that his family had incurred, and then, gleefully told about how other Christians had paid their bills.
Boy, that fried me! Didn’t this good man know about the Biblical mandate to care for one’s own family? Paul went as far as to say that providers who don’t provide for their families are worse than infidels! That’s pretty strong language. Also, what about his witness to the outside world? What does this say about a Christian’s sense of duty and responsibility?
I realize that there are those who differ with me on this point. Some people feel that it is more spiritual simply to trust God to provide rather than to depend on the “devices of man.” But I find it curious that these same people are often willing to accept the devices of other men when they can’t afford to pay their own bills. It is also interesting to me that some of these same people are willing to selectively use other “devices of men” like locks on their doors, seatbelts, and so forth.
I wonder if what presents itself as a form of super-spirituality isn’t sometimes something else. At best, it may simply be a misunderstanding of faith. At worst, it is an irresponsible refusal to accept the appropriate (and, even God-ordained) responsibility that comes with the headship of a home.
When it comes to insurance, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach that’s right for everyone. There are all kinds to consider: Life, health, homeowners, auto, disability, umbrella coverage, etc. My goal is to open your eyes to the benefits of insurance so you will be encouraged to learn more. Remember—knowledge is power. The more you know about insurance and your coverage options the better able you will be to protect your family from unforeseen loss. Like the insurance people say, insurance isn’t just for the living—it’s also for those who are left behind.
Steve Diggs presents the No Debt No Sweat! Christian Money Management Seminar at churches and other venues nationwide. Visit Steve on the Web at www.stevediggs.com or call 615-834-3063. The author of several books, today Steve serves as a minister for the Antioch Church of Christ in Nashville. For 25 years he was President of the Franklin Group, Inc. Steve and Bonnie have four children whom they have home schooled. The family lives in Brentwood, Tennessee.
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