As Christians are becoming increasingly aware, The earth is the LORD’S, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it (Ps. 24:1). That means that all our money and possessions ultimately belong to God. It is wise to ask, therefore, is life insurance a good use of God’s money?
The word “insurance” stems from an older word, “ensure,” which in the mid-1500’s meant “engagement to marry” (Online Etymology Dictionary). It conveyed the idea of “making sure;” a binding agreement or contract. The term “insure” came into its modern use in the 1600’s, where it took on the idea of providing a financial means for “making sure” that necessary expenses were taken care of at death.
Life insurance, properly understood, is a form of inheritance. It does nothing, of course, to en-sure the length or quality of one’s life. Rather, it serves to protect the survivors of someone’s death against funeral costs and loss of income that person brought into the family.
The Bible says, A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous (Prov. 13:22). As believers learn to appreciate their role in God’s plan as managers of His resources rather than owners of our resources, the need becomes apparent to examine every expense, every investment in this light. We don’t want to spend God’s money frivolously, or in ways that once seemed right from a worldly perspective but may not be good stewardship from God’s point of view.
So we need to ask the hard questions: If I were to die today, would those who survive me be adequately protected financially to take care of final expenses (which can be quite high), plus have sufficient funds to manage the costs of living I can no longer provide for? Life insurance can provide the means for “making sure,” as well as we are able, that those who survive us are not overwhelmed financially.
Some people have sufficient wealth at their disposal and designated for inheritance that life insurance may not be necessary. But for most of us, life insurance is a kind of savings account specifically set up for that purpose.
This inheritance also conveys another important and beautiful truth from Scripture. An inheritance is a gift passed on, not earned income. To leave an inheritance is an act of grace; to receive an inheritance is to benefit from an act of grace. The Promised Land given Israel was given as an inheritance from God Himself:
… “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an
inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the
LORD your God, who has set you apart from the nations (Lev. 20:24).
Likewise, we who belong to Jesus Christ have our future needs provided for when we pass from this earthly life …into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you (1 Pet. 1:4).