I have written previously “Is preparedness a sin?” and “Scripture related to preparedness” , explaining why preparedness is allowable and even seen as prudent by the Lord. I have never explained why Christians should be preparing. Of course, they should be preparing for the same reasons as everyone else, but they should also be preparing for at least one specific reason that is theirs alone.
Jesus tells us in Mathew 5:14 that “You are the light of the world.” While true that this statement isn’t about preparedness, it is about being a light to the world. Whether it is economic hardship, war, terrorist attacks, pandemic or any other man made or natural disaster, our world is fallen and we are to be a light to it. Jesus didn’t prerequisite that with “unless food is limited or very high priced” or with “You can pause on being light to the world when events around you become uncertain or dangerous.”
To me, it is those times when we MUST be the light to the world. After 9-11, many churches were filled to capacity. Sadly, it often takes a large event to break people and have them turn to the Lord. If there is another large scale disaster (Katrina or 9-11) and someone only has a few days of food for their family, they will be focused on taking care of and providing for their immediate family. They may not be concentrating on spreading Gods love and being His hands and feet to another needy family.
My wife and I, as well as many from our church, have taken CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training, so that if there is an event in our local area, we can give aid. In the class, they made a point to say that you make sure your family is safe first and then go help if you’re able. Their reasoning is the same as mine. If things are not prepared for at home, if you have to worry about your family’s safety or whether there is food, you will be ineffective in the field.
Jesus told us in Mathew 24:6 – 8 (NIV) that:
“6. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8. All these are the beginning of birth pains.”
I can’t know if we’re living near the end times, but I do know all of those things are happening now, and Jesus said that they were just the beginning. That means that more and probably worse will follow.
Many Christians have a misunderstanding of scripture, they will quote Matthew 6:25-34
“25. 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 important than food, and the body more important 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? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?…”
They don’t understand that this verse is not about preparedness or the lack thereof, it is about worry. Let’s face it, believing that God will take care of our every need is comforting, but our God is not a genie from a bottle. He gave us free will and logic and the ability of forethought.
As I mentioned above, Jesus said some pretty bad stuff would happen and Proverbs 27:12 says:
“A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
When you put these three verses together, we’re told that there will be some difficult and dangerous times ahead. We’re told not to worry because Jesus is Lord our God, but to be wise and prepare for those dangers that lie ahead.
So, if you want to be prudent before the Lord, then being prepared to be the light He said we are, and ready to face what He said is coming seems like the only decision. Some people will have a hard time with this. As I mentioned in Survival Psychology: Cognitive Dissonance, holding two opposing views is called “cognitive dissonance” and will cause mental stress and discomfort. But looking at all of the scripture where we’re shown that God told people to prepare, which I cover in “Scripture related to preparedness”, and as I listed above with Proverbs 27:12, anyone who wants to be prudent need just look for dangers and take action to mitigate them. One can make the logical and prudent choice and move out of cognitive dissonance.
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