Saturday, August 29, 2015

Lessons From Insurance. And Salvation.

That's a really old insurance policy over there. Fitting, as my insurance experience started in 1958, and ended in 2008. So my knowledge may be a bit out-of-date. But, insofar as it pertains to principles, I don't think it is.

By way of background, I taught 3 different insurance courses, in the evenings at Earlham College ... non-credit, working toward Insurance Institute recognition ... for several years. Like, 40 years ago.

Nonetheless, a few principles still apply, even if occasionally violated these days.

One principle is that whatever you're insuring against must be fortuitous. Accidental from your perspective. In fact, most insurance policies exclude (or did) wear & tear and gradual deterioration. Which ought to tell you why I disapprove of the insurance-company-based "extended warranty programs, which purport to pay for just that. As well as some other things.

Another principle is that what's insured against must be pure risk, as opposed to dynamic risk. Pure risk is that chance of loss only.

Think of it this way. If you own a house, it may burn down tonight. If it does, you lose. If it doesn't, you will be in the same position tomorrow as you are today. There's no corresponding "gain" by its not burning down. You might also walk across a floor. If you fall, you may lose; if you don't, there's no particular profit.

Unless you're trying to get out of your burning house.

Similarly, you cannot insure against gambling losses. The problem with gambling is that it's not a static risk. The act of betting,creates the risk of loss, and simultaneously the risk of gain.

The same is true against insuring a business against losing money ... which is married to the chance of making money.

Another principle is that the chance of loss must be high enough to cause enough people to want to insure it, to make the numbers work out. I mean, you would not expect your insurer to insure the loss of an ordinary lead pencil. Conversely, it must be low enough to eliminate the probability that all units in the group, or even most, may be lost in one fell swoop. That's why conventional policies exclude war, nuclear occurrences, flood and the like (the Government handles those things, if at all).

Which brings us to salvation. First of all, we're all going to die. Unless we're here for the Rapture, which will bring with it a new set of rules.

In that sense, death is a pure risk. You either die, in which case you lose (in the conventional sense). Or you live, in which case you stay right where you were.

But you'll still die some day.

And the chance of loss is certainly high enough to warrant doing something about it. And although we're all going to do just that, it's unlikely that a singe event will take us all out.

Consider another aspect of insurance. Would you sleep real well tonight if you did not have any insurance on your house?  I know I wouldn't, even though ours is paid for.

I could not afford to deal with the results of an uninsured fire. Or tornado. The minute after it hits is too late to deal with it.

Same is true with your life. You'\re going to die, and after you do, is too late to make arrangements. See Hebrews 9:27 for details.

And the "other aspect" I mentioned above. I would not sleep well, if at all, this night were I not certain of my salvation. Certain of eternal life. And I certainly would not want to live a lot of years with that thought, either.

But that's precisely what a lost world is doing.

My personal thanks to the Holy Spirit for convicting me of sin,  of righteousness, and of judgment. 

Had He not done that, I don't think I'd be sleeping well, tonight. 


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