ADVANCING YEARS

Social Security

"Government programs and personal planning, as helpful as they may be, aren't as invariably reliable as God is."

Reforming social security and other income support systems is a hot topic in many countries. There is a deep desire to protect workers and their families from income losses associated with old age, illness, unemployment, or death. But many countries are finding they can no longer afford the systems already in place. And others believe that certain benefits should be expanded. The debate goes on, with many plans offered but little consensus as to what should be done. The issue causes some people to examine, deeply, just what it is that brings them the most trustworthy kind of security.

The most satisfying answer, just as it is with all problems, is spiritual; it is in following the path set out for us by Christ Jesus. He warned, "Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth" (Luke 12:15). Then Jesus told a parable about a rich man who took great pride in his riches (see Luke 12:16–21). He decided to build a larger storehouse to keep all that he had accumulated, and then he could take life easy and do nothing but eat, drink, and have a good time. That was a mistake! According to the parable, "God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

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