Vol.XV No.XII Pg.7
February 1979

?You Know What?

Robert F. Turner

Dear bro. Turner:

What are your thoughts on insurance? Is it an indication of covetousness: of wanting security or protection for nothing, or without meeting our own responsibilities? Is there scriptural justification for it? HG


"For nothing" is a bit hard to understand, as I look at my own insurance costs. And if some buy out of covetousness, they are poorly in formed. The Company makes money off of the buyer — you pay for the protection you get. While some may overbuy insurance, and others may have sufficient funds to make insurance unnecessary, I believe a well-planned insurance program is good business management and a conservative business measure. However, I would make a poor business advisor. You will have to use your own head for investments; I only deal with this because of such queries and their moral implications.

Averages — of life, accidents, etc. kept by experts, and constantly updated, give insurance companies actuary tables by which probable needs are figured very accurately. They are not gambling when they take your money. And those same tables, with laws governing the allowable "take," mean that you are only paying a reasonable profit to the Company for protection they offer you. Investment for profit is a scriptural business. (Matt. 25:27) (The Company's BIG profit is from the reinvestment of funds; but they must keep available the protection they offered you. Probabilities allow them to do this.) The bigness of companies and their impact on money market, etc.; is another matter, not directly related to individual moral problems. Providing for our own household (1 Tim. 5:8) imposes a responsibility for wife and small children. One can not wait until he has one foot in the grave to do this. As already stated, the "probability" of leaving family with bills and an unpaid mortgage has been carefully estimated. Insurance enables one to pay for stored resources that (while not his own in a primary sense) are his to rely upon. The Company can't say YOU are going to die, nor can YOU say you are going to live. But actuary tables and government supervision take standard insurance out of the "gambling" category. A "balanced" use of money will not be greedy or covetous, nor will it neglect current needs for God's work.

Buying locks for the doors, giving preventive medical attention, or installing fire-fighting equipment are protective measures taken because of probabilities. Yes, they cost money for something that may not be needed. Yes, we could become overanxious. Yes, we could go over-board or to excess in buying these, or insurance. But excesses do not argue against a reasonable effort to protect our own.

People who do not make reasonable protective measures a part of their "regular expenses," may live above their means, spending on boats, TVs, etc.; and then have to ask for alms when trouble comes. THIS is covetous living — thinking only of self and today — when more responsible use of funds would have been literal "oil in their lamps" (Matt. 25:1-f).