Life insurance as a profession

Life insurance agency is a noble profession. Life insurance exists only as a concept — that is, until the worst occurs and a death benefit must be delivered to the insured’s survivors, when the full force of what life insurance agents provide suddenly becomes a clear and immediate reality. Those who ethically and responsibly provide life insurance are preempting the destitution that families experience on top of grieving the loss of a loved one, for (James 1:27) “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

Life insurance agents often face the objection from people that they can’t afford life insurance. But the case often is that those who think they can’t afford it usually are the ones who most need it, so their surviving families are not saddled with unmanageable, crippling debt. Scripture teaches financial stewardship, something most of us struggle to follow, including not being encumbered by debt (Proverbs 13:22, Romans 13:8).

(Luke 16:11) “If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?”

When we think of financial stewardship, we often associate it with the word “fiduciary.” From the Latin word fidere, which means “trust,” a fiduciary is someone who acts in confidence. All financial professionals, accountable to government regulators, are obligated to uphold fiduciary responsibility, planning in the best interests of the clients whose finances they manage.

Our modern concept of fiduciary has a historical as well as theological background. Etymologically, fiducia is derived from contractus fiduciae, a contract used under ancient Roman and civil law — as in the emancipation of children, connected with testamentary gifts and pledges — which essentially constituted a deal of sale of a person to a purchaser usually for mancipation (involuntary servitude), coupled with an agreement that the purchaser should sell the property back upon the fulfillment of certain covenantal conditions.

In his substitutionary atonement, Jesus Christ brokered peace between God the Father and us, which emancipated us from slavery to sin to instead become slaves of righteousness (Romans 6:17-18). He redeemed us as property from the kingdom of darkness and transferred our ownership to the kingdom of light (I Corinthians 6:19-20, Colossians 1:12-14). Though we formerly were “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:1-3), we now are reconciled as “children of light” (Ephesians 5:8), justified and adopted through fiducia: saving trust in the Lord (Romans 5:1-2, 8:15-17).

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Covenant theology