Insurance or Assurance?

Insurance or Assurance?

Selling insurance is a hard task. It’s just not an exciting product. I remember when I lived in the United States the various Insurance companies would find creative ways to sell you insurance. I remember one company had the tag line, “Just like a good neighbour we are there”. The Geico company, however, took a different approach and had the ‘Geico Gecko’, a friendly and comforting green lizard with a British cockney accent; many of my friends thought he had an Aussie accent, but I knew the difference. Well, using a talkative Gecko is definitely creative and memorable marketing, but what has all this got to do with insurance? Not much at all! You see, it’s hard to sell a product like insurance, because it’s not very gratifying to buy it. When you purchase insurance you don’t receive anything when you pay. All you get is some ‘peace of mind’ that if something happens to something you have (car, house, your life etc), you may possibly receive some money back to make up for what has been damaged or lost. It’s just not a fun payment to make.

Many people even take out life insurance just in case something happens to them so others will get some financial compensation to make up for the loss. Just think though, that person makes payments on something they will never benefit from personally. Let me say clearly that insurance is a wise thing to have! However, it is an idea that is rooted in the ‘here and now’ of this life. It places an emphasis on the things of this world, and John reminds us that

… the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” 1 John 2:17

Don’t get me wrong … I am thankful for insurance (speaking from some unfortunate experiences with large trees), but I do think we can be at times too focused on protecting our lives and have a misplaced priority on possessions. As depraved beings we tend to cling to this world with its things and mindset. Although I love the idea of heaven, I struggle to live with an eternal perspective now. So I have a tendency to ‘insure’ that I will be ok through trusting in my own planning.

Jesus speaks to our earthly focus when He says, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”. And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” ’ But God said to him,

‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’” Luke 12:15-20

The rich man in the story had a ‘here and now’ perspective on life. His focus was to insure that he was taken care of. However, what he failed to recognise is that all the plans in the world can’t insure everything. Life insurance never pays out to the one who dies! The honest truth is that tomorrow is promised to no man. However, through faith we can rest in the One who holds the tomorrow of everyman! Hebrews 11:1 says

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”.

Our faith is an assurance of a spiritual reality (an eternal perspective). In a century the only thing that will matter is if you have faith or not. Linked to this idea Jeff Foxworthy once said, “A hundred years from now, your great-grandchildren probably won’t even know your name. No one will care about what awards you won or how much money you made. The only thing that will matter is what kind of children you left behind and their influence on subsequent generations.” Wow, that’s true wealth right there!

Earthly concerns will mean absolutely nothing very soon. Solomon says,

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death” Proverbs 11:4

Why do we give the things of earth that are fading away such precedence in our lives now? We do well to learn from Jim Elliot, the great Christian missionary to Ecuador, who was killed while attempting to evangelise the Waodani people. He said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose”. This man lived and died with an eternal perspective. So let me ask you, what is more valuable to you? Life insurance or faith assurance?

In Christ,

Pastor Andrew Edmonds

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