Any time I get questions on the same topic that I haven’t covered in a while, I take it as a sign to go over it again. In the last few weeks, the question has been raised by what I’m assuming are newer Prepper’s who are questioning if prepping is in line with God’s will. I can relate to this, as I struggled with it as well. Study led to the creation of this blog. For some of you, this might seem like a silly question, but this is an important issue for those struggling with it. Because of this, I’m going to ask that you keep any comments that aren’t encouraging to yourself or they’ll just be deleted. Words of encouragement are always appreciated, of course.
I try not to tell people what they should believe or what they should do. Your situation could be very different from mine! For example, what is important here in Minnesota might not be so important in Texas. I, instead, give you my thoughts on issues. This topic is not going to be any different. If asked to give a one word answer to “Is preparedness a sin?” I think the overwhelming majority of answers would be “no”. My answer, however, would be “possibly”. I don’t know your motives, your lifestyle, your finances or your relationship with Christ; so it’s not my place to tell you whether or not it might be sin. Instead, I’ll give you some things to think and pray about.
Could Preparedness Be a Sin?
The short answer for me is, “possibly”; which I think is the answer to many “Could (You name it) be a sin?” questions. For example let’s use fishing; could fishing be a sin?
Many of the disciples were fisherman, so how could fishing possibly be a sin? If I spend so much time fishing that I neglect my family, I could be walking in sin. If I spend money I don’t really have to buy the latest rod, reel, depth finder, fish finder, tackle and so on, so that I can make the most out of my time fishing, I could be walking in sin. If I blow off family, church, work and other commitments to go fishing, I could be walking in sin.
It doesn’t matter what the issue is, just about anything could be sin! Like many things, preparedness being a sin is a matter of the heart. If you’ve wrestled with this question, I believe your heart to be in the right place. Your concern of the issue shows that you care more about your walk with the Lord than being prepared for “come what may”.
For Most of Human History
For most of human history people have stored food from the harvest to last until the next. In fact, for much of our history, our ancestors lived subsistence lifestyles; hunting and gathering for food. They had to know how to dry, smoke, salt or otherwise preserve it for later use.
The idea of being prepared is not new! If we were to go back just a couple generations, we would see that the tables were turned. Most people had more than two weeks’ worth of food in their pantry! Many people grew their own garden and knew how to preserve the abundance from it! Many people hunted, trapped and fished, not for sport but for a way to put protein on the table!
I doubt most people from this era thought of themselves as “Prepper’s”. They would have considered the things they did “normal” and “prudent”. Do you think they were sinning?
My personal opinion on self-reliance is: (this can happen in any area of your life, not just preparedness) if, at any point, someone doesn’t leave room for the Lord, they might be acting in pride and God hates pride. What I mean is this; if you don’t talk to Him about your plans, if you feel Him speaking to you, but ignore it, if you (knowingly or not) decide this is your life, and you’ll do “X” because you want to, then you might be acting out of pride. Again, this could be the case for someone who is a fantastic baker and wants to open a bakery or someone who wakes up to how fragile the world really is and wants to make sure they can feed their family if hard times fall.
I’m not going to cover all of the scripture I have found that I believe supports preparedness. For the full list, see Scripture Related To Preparedness. Here, I will cover just a couple that I think build the case nicely.
Proverbs 6:6 –11 (NLT)
“6:6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! 6:7 Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, 6:8 they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. 6:9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? 6:10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—6:11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.”
To me, this verse makes it clear that God values people storing for hard times. It is also clear that He is accepting of people who did not prepare for facing the hard times that they may fall on.
“The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.”
This one is pretty cut and dry.
1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV)
“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
I look at this verse like this; if someone who could work but is lazy and chooses not to, they have denied the faith. I, however, do not see anything in that verse that says you are not subject to this if hard times fall.
“A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
This is, to me, the most important verse! I used it to convince Trudee that God gave us permission to prepare for the dangers that I was finding when I “woke up” and started seeing how fragile things are. If you need help discovering some of those dangers, I have written over 40 articles in the category Signs of the Times.
There are a couple scriptures that I have seen used as arguments against preparedness, or from people who just want to make sure they aren’t going against God’s will. If you have one that I don’t cover here please let me know.
1 Kings 17:1-6 (verse 6 shown)
“The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”
This was a command to one man, not a dictate on how people should live going forward. The same can be said about the Jews being led out of Egypt with Moses. God commanded them to look to Him for manna a0
nd not to save any. This was God loving His people, and teaching them how to depend on Him, not a command for modern day believers to wait for manna.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
This verse is not about preparedness! It is about worry! God cannot contradict Himself! Look again at the scriptures I listed above. He clearly places value on being prepared for the dangers in our lives.
Aren’t We to Look to God to Provide?
The short answer is yes, of course! However, let me ask you this; do you consider yourself to be a steward of the money you make? If so, are you using that money to provide for your daily bread from the grocery store now, or do you depend on Him for daily manna? If He is providing daily manna please let me know as I would truly love to try some! If you are using His money to provide for your daily bread, do you think He cares if you buy it now or acted as the ants and stored it in the past for a potential future danger?
My view is; our Heavenly Father wants us to be good stewards and to be grateful for the things He has provided for us. I personally don’t think He cares if I use canned goods I bought two years ago, as long as I thank Him for them when I eat them.
I answer several questions on this topic in the first article I wrote on the subject called, you guessed it…Is Preparedness a Sin?
I have spent significant amounts of time studying the Word, thinking about, praying about, and conversing with others on this issue. I have come to the conclusion that not only does God condone preparedness, He actually encourages it! He knows we live in a fallen world that is full of dangers and He wants us to take precautions against them!
I wrote another article where I ask Why Should Christians, Specifically, Be Preparing? In it I build the case for why believers should be preparing now, so in an emergency we can be God’s hands and feet and help others.
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