A friend on Facebook recently asked a question in the Immortality Initiative–a group I created to discuss, explore, and pursue immortality per Jesus’s many statements and promises on the subject. As regular followers know, I am pretty outspoken about this subject and post on it regularly. One topic I have considered many times, but haven’t ever written about, is the question my friend posted–about whether to keep a life insurance policy or to cash it out.
As a firm believer in both resurrection (raising the dead) and immortality (never dying), I am conflicted on this matter. Part of me says to operate in radical faith and do away with any sort of death-planning. After all, planning for death is the same as extending faith toward death, right? To some extent I believe this–that our decisions demonstrate what we actually believe, and our actions are part of how we extend our faith in any given situation. As a result, we need to make decisions that are in line with our expectations, and not divide our thinking. Having a backup plan is, on some level, the same as sowing doubt with an increased likelihood of reaping failure.
On the other hand, failure to plan is also planning to fail. If we don’t take into account the fact that even in Hebrews 11, the big Faith chapter, that many men and women believed in faith but didn’t see the promises come to pass (v39), then we are fools. Occasionally we need to use our heads and look with eyes wide open at potential outcomes and decide whether we need to take steps to mitigate risk, whether toward ourselves or others.
Let’s put these ideas into a scenario. If I didn’t have others to consider, I wouldn’t bother with any kind of insurance or “death-planning.” I strongly believe in resurrection and immortality, and whether it sounds prideful or not I find it highly unlikely that I, of all people, would fail in that endeavor. I tend toward engaging in faith-behaviors such as not having insurance as a faith-action toward my end goal. On the other hand, I am married and have a stepdaughter and grandkids, and we all live together. I am currently the only wage-earner between my wife and myself, as she is between jobs, and my stepdaughter is just returning to work after having been injured and recovering for the better part of a year. My wife is also a number of years older than I am and I will likely continue working long after she is retired. In other words, I have people that depend on me. If something were to happen to me right now, my wife would be in big financial trouble, and raising the grandkids would be much more of a struggle. She would most likely lose the house within a year or so unless she could sell, and would have a host of other problems, all piled on top of the fact that this is in the event that I am also dead. Do I have life insurance? You had better believe I do. Under this set of circumstances I think anything less is highly irresponsible–not to me, but to my family.
This tension between wisdom and faith is a difficult path to tread, and at various points in life those two ideals no longer travel parallel, but intersect at a crossroads, where you can only choose one or the other. Sometimes the faith-route is the best way, escaping certain peril, but at other times it is the path of wisdom leads to higher heights and beautiful scenery and faith leads into a dead-end desert canyon. There is no easy answer to this question, and it will likely vary from person to person and situation to situation, but I want to challenge you: What do you think? How does this apply to your life? What do you think is best for you . . . and WHY is it best?