This is a question I have been wrestling with for some time. Should Christians be preppers?
There are a lot of things to be fearful of in the world. Turn on the news, read online articles, and check your social media. You’ll hear about them.
This may make you run to your nearest store and buy all the toilet paper.
Because of these uncertain times you’ve got plans to start a garden, buy bulk food, and learn how to preserve everything you grow, forage, or find. You may also have a growing arsenal, a bunker started in your backyard, and a large stash of first aid supplies.
You’re going to be prepared for anything this world has to offer.
But is that the way that God asks us to live?
I would like to preface my answer by saying that this is 100% my opinion, based on my interpretation of the Bible and my philosophy on life. There may be many Christians who avidly disagree with me, and their opinion is valid as well.
With that said, here’s my answer to the question: Should Christians be preppers?
What Does the Bible Say About Prepping?
The Bible is a primary way that Christians can interpret how God wants us to live our lives, and there are references to preparedness in the Bible.
In Genesis we see Joseph being warned through Pharoah’s dream of an approaching famine. During seven years of abundance, the nation of Egypt stored up grain because God revealed to them that they would have seven years of famine. Without God’s warning, many many people would have died of hunger. (Genesis 41)
God told Noah to be prepared for the flooding of the Earth. (Genesis 5)
Proverbs talks about the importance of hard work and working towards a harvest.
Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
I think the Bible is pretty clear that there’s wisdom in preparedness, that it’s good to think ahead, and that we should consider what might happen in the future. I think it’s also clear that it says we should work hard. Paul says a man who doesn’t work shouldn’t eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
While it is important to note that the Bible talks about wisdom in being prepared, it also talks a lot MORE about God providing for our needs.
God is the Provider
When it comes to anything that is on Earth, there’s a chance that it can be spoiled.
I have seen Facebook posts of people who carefully canned their foods, only to have their shelves break leaving all their hard work destroyed. That’s devastating.
If you keep bulk grain for long-term storage you might have mice or rats chew right through your plastic food-safe five-gallon buckets.
A freezer full of meat can be lost in a day.
A garden can be decimated by pests, animals, disease, and weather.
I am not saying this to discourage the careful planner or the hard-working homesteader. What I am saying is that our faith isn’t dependent on how well our garden grows or how many jars we put on the shelf.
God is the provider.
God sent the Israelites into the wilderness with nothing. They didn’t have months’ worth of food. They weren’t able to plant gardens. What did God do? He provided.
Jesus sent his disciples ahead of him and said, “Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals.” Luke 10:4
He then told his disciples to accept hospitality from those who would offer it to them, and for that to be their only provision. Jesus says, “Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay.” Luke 10:7
Joshua led an army that won by only playing musical instruments.
David discarded Saul’s armor and took Goliath down with a stone.
These people didn’t triumph and overcome outside of God’s help.
Moses said he wasn’t the man to lead the Israelites but God gave him everything he needed to overcome the Egyptians, overcome the wilderness, and reclaim the promised land.
Christians Don’t Need to Live in Fear
There is SO MUCH fear in the world. The news. Politicians. Social media. Billboards. Advertisements. Friends. Neighbors. Everyone is talking about things that are fearsome.
Don’t get me wrong, there are bad things in the world. There is also wisdom in being self-sufficient and ready in case something goes wrong.
Even if we aren’t talking about major world conflicts, it’s possible that your electricity will go out for a few days, or you might be snowed in and unable to run to the grocery store for a period of time. (Think the Great Blizzard of 1978).
I think it’s downright smart to know how to grow your own food, hunt for your meat, raise livestock, and keep bulk foods on hand in case of an emergency.
But there’s a very distinct difference between thinking ahead and being driven by fear and anxiety.
You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places, there will be famines and earthquakes.
We live in a world where bad things happen, and will continue happening, but we don’t have to be governed by fear.
Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
I know that’s a long passage but I couldn’t take out any of it because it’s so important. God doesn’t want us to be people who live in fear of running out or not having enough.
I heard a pastor once say that it’s easy to trust in God when you have a big bank account, but God’s faithfulness isn’t dependent on how much money we have in the bank, or how many cans of food we have stocked up.
Who Are We Preparing For?
My next question is who are we prepping for? Are we prepping for just ourselves or our close unit families?
I do believe that God wants us to take care of ourselves and our families.
1 Timothy 5:8 says “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
…But I want to touch on a subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) thing I have noticed when it comes to the prepping community. I feel as though the idea of prepping can be very self-focused. It’s more of an idea that as long as you and your family are OK, it doesn’t matter what’s happening to the rest of the world.
In some ways I find myself feeling this way. I can’t take care of everything wrong that’s going on, so I’ll just keep my head down and take care of my small family.
That’s true. A single person can’t protect, save, or help everyone in the world.
But again, I think this comes down to a heart issue.
I saw this meme the other day and I think it sums up well what I’m thinking.
Romans 14:7 says, “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.”
We were meant to look after each other and provide when someone else is in need.
That doesn’t mean I’m promoting that some people should do nothing while others do everything. Instead, I’m talking about our hearts and our mindsets.
Would we be willing to share our bounty if someone else is in need?
Would we be willing to teach someone else how they can be self-sufficient? (Teach a man to fish)
Are we willing to share our equipment or supplies so others can store up or be ready for an emergency?
Are we growing extra in case other people are less prepared than we are in a disastrous situation?
I think these questions matter in the Christian community.
What Do You Think? Should Christians be Preppers?
Those are some of the thoughts that I’ve had about Christians being preppers. I believe being prepared is wise, but I also believe our hearts and minds in preparation matter.
I’d love to hear what you think. Do you think Christians should be preppers?
Let me know in the comments below.