Doing It All Yourself?

You and I are capable of amazing things—when we let ourselves dream, search out and discover wise means of reaching our dreams, and focus and commit to building ourselves brick by brick, day by day.  God has created us with limitless potential, and you’re used to reading words here that will challenge and encourage you to take action today toward growth and pursuit of your goals.  As you go forth on your journey, however, you cannot expect success going it alone.  It is only when we find our particular purpose for which we have been created and plug into God’s agenda that we can truly thrive.


Psalm 63

7For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.

8My soul clings to You;
Your right hand upholds me.

9But those who seek my life to destroy it,
Will go into the depths of the earth.

10They will be delivered over to the power of the sword;
They will be a prey for foxes.

11But the king will rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him will glory,
For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.

Conveying the Truth

We are given a great many pictures in the Bible which convey the way God relates to us.  In v7 and v8 of this Psalm, we see two examples:  The shadow of God’s wings and God’s right hand.  Although God has neither wings nor hands, these metaphors give us a very clear and powerful idea of what God is like and how we are meant to live.  We are our strongest not when we work hardest and rely most on ourselves, but rather when we recognize our frailty and seek refuge in God.

The Shadow of His Wings

The picture of living in the shadow of God’s wings gives the thought of a powerful and majestic bird of prey.  I think of an eagle soaring high above the ground, completely out of reach of those who may wish to harm him.  At any moment, the eagle can sweep down with his powerful talons and reign down with a fierce attack on whomever he wills.  As one loved by God, I know than when I rest in the shadow of His wings, I need fear no man.  The shadow means that although I can’t touch Him, I know he is there without a doubt.  He is above me, ready and able to protect and defend me from any who would oppose His will and my obedience.

God’s Right Hand

Being upheld by God’s right hand conveys many similar ideas.  When I think of how easily I can be overcome by others or by life’s circumstances, I am encouraged by remembering that God’s strength is something I can lay hold of.  When in my humanness I would certainly fail, I know in that moment that I can rely on Christ to give me His strength.  It may be a fight against temptation, or the tenacity to hold my resolve in a tese situation, or even to withstand persecution.  In these times, I have confidence, knowing that when my strength fails, God will provide all the strength I need.

His Glory

So much more could be said, how many volumes could be filled with this glorious truth!  God’s power and strength are infinite, and He is anxious to grant them to any who will follow after Him, seek His will, and have the faith to live it out each day.  As we work with the tools we have to grow in our own wisdom, strength, and capability, let us never forget that One who is infinitely stronger than we could ever be or imagine stands with us.  As he shows Himself powerful and faithful, we will discover new heights achievable only through His divine work, for His glory and our good!

It Won’t Happen to Me

Nobody likes getting sick, having their house burn down, or dying in a car crash.  Unfortunately, these things happen every day to a single group of people:  people who didn’t think it would happen to them today!  Today’s post deals with the important and too-often neglected topic of insurance.  What kinds do I need?  Which types of insurance are superfluous?  What should my philosophy on insurance be?  We’ll answer those and more as we unpack how insurance in its various forms can be a great blessing to our lives.


We’re all in this together

At its most basic level, insurance is the banding together of a large group of people to create a fund which pays the expenses of a few of the people when disastrous circumstances hit.  You’re not very likely to need open-heart surgery next week, but someone near you will.  We just don’t know who!

In this context, insurance is a wonderful blessing because it offers protection for unusual events beyond our control.  While you likely couldn’t afford the $300,000 medical bill for diagnosis, surgery, and treatment for heart disease, you can afford a few hundred dollars a month in insurance premiums.  All these premiums from a large number of people go into a big pot of money to be used to pay the expenses of the few members who contract a serious medical condition.

When to buy, when to pass

Given that understanding of what insurance is and how it works, what should be our insurance philosophy?  Should we buy every kind of insurance that is offered?  Or if we shouldn’t, how should we differentiate between the vital and the superfluous?

Generally, I believe it is the wisest course to insure yourself against any event that is reasonably likely to occur and would have disastrous financial consequences.  In this statement, you’ll notice two inexact terms:  “reasonably likely” and “disastrous consequences.”  You’ll have to apply these for yourself in your specific situation, but let’s take a look at a few examples to illustrate the idea.

An expensive lapse of judgment

When you buy a car and head out on the road, there are multiple potential disasters that can occur.  You could neglect to stop at a red light and demolish a $45,000 truck, along with your own vehicle.  Or worse yet, perhaps you injure the drivers or passengers, creating a stream of medical bills.  So, is this insurance worth having?  First, is it reasonably likely to occur?  Certainly!  Driving is one of the most dangerous things most of us do in our daily lives.  Second, could it have disastrous financial consequences?  Yes again.  This one is a no-brainer: car insurance is vital.

I never get sick

Some people think they can get by without health insurance.  They feel healthy and think that it’ll be cheaper to just pay for minor medical expenses out of pocket.  While this plan can temporarily provide relief to the budget, ultimately it is playing with fire.  You set yourself up to erase years of hard work, saving, and investing in a moment.  A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with cancer, having no insurance, and he now has medical bills approaching half a million dollars.  Another man I know recently broke his thumb in two places, and is facing the possibility of needing surgery—which will cost more money than he has.  In both cases, these men thought they were healthy and could go without health insurance.  Unfortunately, none of us will stay well forever.

As with car insurance, it is strikingly evident that a health issue can be financially disastrous and has a reasonable likelihood of occurring.  Even if you can’t or don’t want to pay the premiums for an expensive plan, you must at least get a basic policy that will limit your exposure in the case of a major health problem.  High-deductible insurance plans are a good fit in this case—you generally pay for minor services yourself, but your maximum out-of-pocket might fall somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000.  Obviously, this would still cause financial difficulty to most families, but it would at least be survivable.

Avoid death by a thousand cuts

Finally, let’s look at an example that doesn’t pass the test.  Many electronics stores offer insurance for computers, TVs, or other big-ticket items.  These tend to be quite profitable for the electronics store, and consequently a bad deal for you.  These types of insurance fail the “financially disastrous” test.  If your TV were to break after the manufacturer’s standard warranty has expired, you’d be without a TV.  Guess what?  Plenty of people survive without a TV!  If you’re managing and saving your money well (as taught by the ThriveWealthy system), you’ll be able to save and pay cash for a new set quickly anyway.  And by avoiding paying extra for unnecessary insurance policies in other areas (pet insurance, laundry machine insurance, insurance providing you with a rental car when yours is involved in an accident), you’ll have more money available to save for that new TV quicker!

So, when it comes to insurance, it’s important to recognize events that are reasonably likely to occur and would have disastrous financial consequences.  For these events, it is absolutely vital that you carry insurance with appropriate limits.  Insurance policies that fail this test are superfluous and you’ll be better off to save or invest that money instead.  And enjoy the comfort and security that goes with knowing that you are protected from financial disaster and are being a good steward of your resources.