Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What *really* matters

Today we were given a pitch by a company who deal in financial products for doctors and dentists. They were advocating a product that aims to insure the salaries and earnings of doctors and dentists, in case they suffer injury or illness that means they cannot work.

I am not agains insurance as a principle (at the moment) and do hold insurance for most of my belongings, however I do draw the line at insuring something I do not even have yet. More than that, this insurance was sold like this:

"Your most valued asset is not your car, nor your home..."

(At this point, I have to admit, I muttered, in a way that was less under my breath than I was expecting, "nor your career")

"... but your ability to earn money..."

This was followed by:

"If you had a machine that could churn out £30,00 a year wouldn't you insure that machine?"

There are a number of deeply flawed arguments here! Your most valued asset is your ability to earn money?! I assume there are people out there, maybe even reading this blog, who believe this, for why else could the lady selling the product use that line? I would encourage you take a deep look at yourself, and at the financial world around you. Look at how fickle money is - how quickly things can change (the current 'credit crunch' for example), how unreliable it is, how it can easily take over your life - becoming the thing you long for, the thing that provides your security, having a little means you want more, and you can never have quite enough. Not only that, but take a good look at yourself. Are you really only someone who is most valuable for the money they can make? I would beg to differ, and more importantly so would God, your Creator.

Listen to what God says in His Word, the Bible, about people;
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." (Genesis 1v27)
""Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man." (Genesis 9v6) -
God values the people He makes - as can be seen in the second quote, where He shows that man should not shed the blood of man, since man (here used to represent both male and female) is in God's image - man is precious to God, yet not because man can earn money, but because man is created in God's image.

God knows and created each of us, in another book of the Bible, the author says this, " I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139 v14-16)

Surely a creature so "fearfully and wonderfully made" by Someone Whose "works are wonderful" is worth so much more than their ability to make money?

The next flaw is the attitude to money - listen to Jesus speaking about our anxieties, and worries. "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (The Gospel of Matthew 6 v28-33)

God knows all our needs, but tells us there is something much more important than what we eat, drink or wear - it is more important to look to God, to seek His kingdom - that is His Name being honoured on Earth, doing His will and living in joyful obedience to Him.

All in all, many reasons that we do not need to insure our careers - we are people far more valuable than our careers, far more than the money we earn, and we have so many more important things to do than to worry about what will happen if we get ill and cannot earn. God cares for His children, and whilst He makes no guarantees that we will not suffer illness or injury or lose our jobs, He does promise to look after us, and shows how He looks after birds and flowers, which are so much less precious than we are! So, don't trust in an insurance company, trust in God, who can provide, whatever happens to us, and remember that you are *more* than your ability to earn money!

A few imperfect and incomplete thoughts on the matter, do comment further!

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