The Bible Answers Short Questions From Our Readers
Plain Truth Staff
Would you please explain what the Bible says about insurance? When is it advisable?
Insurance is simply an arrangement for individual losses to be absorbed by a group. It is a plan for sharing the burdens of each other - similar to the principle expressed in Galatians 6:2. This does not mean that insurance can in any way prevent physical calamity. It cannot! As its part of the agreement, the insurance company pays a prearranged sum of money to the one who suffers a loss. In such a situation, the company is only giving back money which a group of individuals has been saving for this purpose. Insurance does not prevent an accident, is never a substitute for God's protection. Time and circumstance befall us all. Accidents DO happen. Paul was shipwrecked, fell among thieves. But only God has the power to deliver the righteous out of all these troubles (Ps. 34:17-19). You should never allow insurance to diminish your dependence upon God as your Provider and Protector. Insurance is never a substitute for faith. Faith is the assurance that God will deliver you out of every difficulty in which you may become involved. Insurance cannot deliver you out of trouble. All it can do is compensate you for your loss. Now notice what the Bible reveals about saving for the future. Notice Proverbs 30:24-25: "There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: the ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." The ant SAVES. The wise ant gathers in summer for the coming winter. She does not have to beg for help in the time of need. This is why Solomon said: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise; which having no chief, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest" (Prov. 6:6-8). The principle involved here is that it is wise to be prepared for unforeseen troubles. Joseph, in Egypt, laid up in time of plenty for the time of want. He acted on faith. He was prepared. Some have misunderstood Jesus' saying: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth where moth and rust hath corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven... for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matt. 6:19-21). This does not mean that Jesus frowned upon saving for future emergencies. Not at all! These verses show that Jesus APPROVED of the principle of saving-"Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven" which Christ will bring with Him when He returns. Jesus did, however warn against saving money for selfish, grasping reasons. The Bible teaches that a good man will save for his grandchildren as well as for himself (Prov. 13:22). A wise and righteous man does not build up a bank account or take out an insurance policy for himself alone, but for the benefit of his family. God clearly states that any man who does not provide for his own household is worse than an infidel (I Tim. 5:8). One should make arrangements to provide for family needs so that a calamity such as accident, fire, or early death will not impoverish the heirs. Certain types of insurance are more necessary. Most states require car owners to have either automobile insurance or a large sum of money in the bank to cover accident expenses. Christians have an obligation to comply with these laws (Rom. 13:1; Tit. 3:1). Most people do not have a cash reserve large enough for this purpose and automobile insurance is the least expensive and therefore the most expedient way to obey the law. Many people foolishly drive their cars without insurance and suffer severe penalties when they become involved in accidents. In order to obey God, and for your own protection, you should not drive your car without accident insurance if it is required in your state. By contrast, the varieties of health insurance are of only limited worth to Christians. Although circumstances may arise in which these insurances could be rightly used-as in the case of setting broken bones-a person who looks to God, for healing and who practices God's laws of health will have little recourse to this kind of insurance. There is little need for doctors, drugs and hospitals. For economic reasons, these factors need to be carefully weighed in the light of your faith and the probability of your using such insurance. Choosing the right type of insurance for your particular needs should always be done cautiously and in wisdom. If it is selected and used in this manner, insurance can be of some benefit to Christians.