We are people who love safety and security.
We want to keep our children safe from the progressive ideas taught in the school system. We want to keep our families safe from the hoodlums running the streets at night. We want to keep our souls safe from questioning any aspect of the faith we’ve grown up to believe.
Safety nets are built into our cultural systems. Things such as car insurance, homeowners insurance, health insurance, and the list goes on.
We don’t want to leave ourselves vulnerable to danger in any manner. But if danger does come knocking, we want to do everything in our power to soften the blow. It’s far less painful to pay a deductible on your insurance than it is to consume a hundred percent of the cost from damages. We’ve built our hedge of protection high in hopes of keeping all danger and pain out.
The longing to relieve ourselves from the bad in the world makes sense. I don’t know anyone who welcomes the pain and destruction that a car accident, a child leaving the faith, or a robbed home can bring. We want freedom from harm and danger in its various forms.
But is our obsession with safety biblical?
There are many wonderful promises we can grip tightly to in scripture, but a life built on safety isn’t one of them. And you might be surprised at the things God never promises safety for.
Here are four areas of your life where God never promised safety.
1. Safety in Your Faith
Let me start off by saying that I do believe Christians can be sure of the security found in their salvation.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
When we come to faith in Jesus, we don’t need a backup plan or a safety net, because God promises that nothing can separate us from his love. Nothing—not even death—can take us from the hand of God. You don’t need to live in fear of your salvation being revoked from you because of a bad decision or other circumstances. The bible is clear that there is nothing in this world capable of removing your salvation from you.
With that said, your faith doesn’t ensure you will never face hardship, pain, or suffering. Your salvation doesn’t set you up to no longer be affected by the sin of the world you live in.
In fact, we read the opposite all throughout the New Testament. We read story after story of followers of Jesus being led into dangerous situations for the sake of sharing their faith.
Meaning, God doesn’t call us to shy away from sharing our faith because of danger of our harm.
Oftentimes, God will call you into scary, unstable, and uncertain life stages or situations for the sake of the gospel. Safety, in the way we view it, isn’t of very high importance to God, because he knows there is something even more important—salvation for the lost.God doesn't call us to shy away from sharing our faith because of danger of our harm. Click To Tweet
2. Safety for Your Family
Christian parents are called to raise our children in the ways of the Lord. And in this effort to set our children’s hearts towards the heart of God, we often fear the way the world will pull them away.
We have a desire to protect them and keep them safe from the way of life inculcated in public school systems, elementary and beyond. We fear the way non-believers will influence and taint their worldview. So our response tends to revolve around how we can remove our children from being brainwashed by those around them who are not followers of Jesus.
In many ways, I can understand these fears and concerns. People who grew up in the church are renouncing their faith in droves. This is a Christian parent’s worst fear, to have a prodigal son or daughter.
You may be thinking of proverbial wisdom as a promise from God that your children will be kept safe from the trappings of the world.
Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. (Proverbs 22:6)
But as with all Proverbs, this is not a promise. The book of Proverbs is merely common wisdom that is true in most cases. It’s very likely that the path you set your child on is the path they will continue to walk, whether that be good or bad. But this is what’s most likely to happen based on the way the world works, not a promise from God.
God never promised you that your children will be safe from the thoughts of the world. In the same way you had to work out your own faith, worldview, and thoughts on life, so do they. Creating systems and structures for your child to block out the world around them may stave off certain outcomes, but it’s far more effective to instill the skills and opportunity for them to exercise wise decision making in adverse situations.
Your children are a gift from God whom you should love, disciple, and point to Jesus. But even still, they aren’t your children. They are God’s children. As difficult as it is, we have to trust God will care for them even when that doesn’t look like safety and protection from the world.Your children are a gift from God whom you should love, disciple, and point to Jesus. Even still, they aren't your children. They're God's children. Click To Tweet
3. Physical Safety
There’s no denying that we live in a fallen world. The news is filled with story after story of one human doing harm to another. This most often takes on the form of physical violence.
We know instinctively that it’s wrong to physically harm another person. We also know there’s something wrong with our physical bodies declining in health. And while it’s all we’ve ever known in this world, it doesn’t sit well with us. And that’s because we have a sense that this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. On that count, you would be right.
Physical attacks in any shape or form are not the way God intended it to be. The very first sin recorded outside the Garden of Eden was Cain killing Abel. At the hands of his own brother, Abel was a victim to physical abuse, to murder. Certainly, this isn’t what God wanted from those he created in his image and likeness.
We understand this to be true even more when we become Christians. So the longing for physical safety, again, makes sense. But it’s not a promise from God. In fact, many of the early disciples of Jesus were physically persecuted for their faith in Jesus. They did not have physical safety.
But even when our physical safety is compromised, God promises to be with us. We don’t have to walk through illness, pain, and suffering alone. We can run to him for strength, courage, and encouragement. One day we won’t have to worry about our own physical limitations, but at the moment these things cause us to rely on God all the more.Even when our physical safety is compromised, God promises to be with us. Click To Tweet
4. Financial Safety
Though there is no direct verse that says Jesus was poor, it’s well known that Jesus was not a man of means. He wasn’t born into a wealthy family.
For example, it was customary for Jewish families to present their firstborn before the Temple with a sacrifice. This is exactly what Mary and Joseph did with Jesus. In Luke 2, we see the couple present a pair of doves. And we know from Leviticus 12:8 that a pair of doves is acceptable only if a family can’t afford a lamb.
We also see Paul affirm the idea that Jesus wasn’t wealthy in his second letter to the Corinthians.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
Jesus didn’t come to the world as a rich man. He often preached against idolizing and placing a high priority on money. Not only the teachings of Jesus, but the very life of Jesus did not place any kind of a priority on financial security.
God promises to care for your needs. But has never promised to provide you safety when it comes to your finances.God promises to care for your needs. But he has never promised to provide you safety when it comes to your finances. Click To Tweet
Safety Is Not a High Priority in Scripture.
God never intended for us to cling to the comfort that comes from living a life of safety. He wants us to depend on him for all things. It’s when we are without that we turn to him more. We must be brought to a place of full and utter dependence on our God.
This is what the bible is about: his people running to him. We have safety and assurance in the person of God, but not in the things we count as valuable on earth. Our focus can’t be on building our hedge of protection. It must be on Jesus himself.
MORE RESOURCES TO CHECK OUT
If you found this article helpful, these books might be useful resources to you.
- Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt
- The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer