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Does Making a Backup Plan Show a Lack of Faith?

  • Joe McKeever

    Joe McKeeverhas been a disciple of Jesus Christ more than 65 years, been preaching the gospel more than 55 years, and has been writing and cartooning for Christian publications more than 45 years. He…

  • Updated Aug 22, 2018

You do have a Plan B, don’t you?

You always have to have a backup plan.

–What if the guest speaker does not show up? Who speaks? Should we line up the alternate speaker just in case?

–What if the power goes out in the middle of the party?

–What if it rains out the church picnic? Do we cancel or go inside? If we cancel, is there another day on the calendar that would work? If we go inside, how can we create the fun atmosphere of the outside picnic? Do we even want to have a church picnic?

–What if the school board does not approve our request to have the crusade at the football stadium? What then? Is there another place to meet that will hold a crowd? Will people drive to that location? Is it equipped to deal with our needs? What other possibilities are there?

–What if we schedule that meeting and line up the singers and guest speakers but no one shows up? How do we cover expenses? Is there a way to know in time either to do some last-minute heroics to get people there or to cancel the meeting? Are we showing lack of faith by even considering these things?

–What if the audio system goes out, what then? Could we ask everyone to sit down front so the speakers could be heard without amplification? Would they do that?

–What if the bagpipe player is unable to get off work in time? Do we reschedule or go without him?

–What if the biopsy report is negative–even though we keep praying for a good report–what do we do then? Should we go ahead and schedule an appointment with our specialist, just in case?

You always have to have a Plan B. A backup plan when things go wrong or the news is the worst. “What do we do now?”

To plan for the unexpected and unwelcome does not show a lack of faith. In fact, failing to make adequate plans is presumptuous. We paint ourselves into a corner from which we expect God to retrieve us.

Today someone who had read an article I’d written on “how to be fired and come up a winner” asked about their particular situation. The boss told her she has two months to go on her contract and it will not be renewed. The boss said her work has not been sub-par but she herself does not “fit” in that environment. He said the other employees had called this to her attention. Meanwhile, he’s now interviewing candidates for her position and she will be expected to train them. She is having an attitude problem.

Her question was not what I want to deal with here, but merely that as she saw the end of the contract approaching, she should have given thought to Plan B. What if the company does not renew my contract? What will I do then? Where should I be placing my application now?

She is now paying for that failure. Furthermore, there is evidence she is growing bitter toward the boss (and/or the company) for mistreating her. Not a good thing. They gave her a job with adequate pay, I assume, and they fulfilled their obligation. Whether the boss was sufficiently wise or gracious is beside the point. In a perfect world, all bosses would be gems and all jobs would be ours as long as we wished.

This is a fallen world made up of people a lot like you and me–all trying to make their way, provide for their families, save a little toward retirement, and make the most of their years on earth. We are sent into the world as Exhibit A for the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to “show forth the praises of Him who has called us” (1 Peter 2:10). When we lose sight of that, we silently and quickly assume a sense of entitlement and feel the world owes us something. After that, it’s all downhill.

The Hebrew lads were facing the fiery furnace. They said to the king, “Our God is able to deliver us. But even if He doesn’t, we’re still not going to bow down before you.” (Daniel 3)

Either way, they would be faithful.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/marekuliasz