The High Cost of Security October 30 2015

Have you ever wondered how much society could save if everyone obeyed all the rules, never stole anything, never threatened anyone, and didn’t cheat?  Honesty would dramatically lower the costs of doing business.  

For example, there are over one million security guards in the United States.  This alone could easily represent $50 billion a year in additional costs to business, which is passed along to customers. This doesn't even account for the amount spent on “cyber security” which is estimated to be $77 billion spent globally. Furthermore, we have untold millions of security cameras.  We are getting to the point where it is almost impossible to escape surveillance. For the most part, all these things are attempts at keeping people from disobeying one simple statement in the Ten Commandments:  “You shall not steal.”

Almost everyone knows that it is wrong to steal (otherwise they would not be sneaking around to do it), but many still operate on the principle that “if I can get away with it, then it’s not my problem.” If everyone agreed never to steal, the people not needed for security could be put to much more productive uses than simply trying to keep people from carrying out their sinful intentions.

The fact that security guards, encryption software, and video cameras are needed tells us a great deal about human nature. They tell us that the heart of man is inclined toward sin: intent on taking, not giving, and not respecting the property of others.  All the protections that need to be built into our 21st century lifestyle effectively debunk the common worldview that says that “man is basically good.”  Rather, God characterizes us in Isaiah 53:6  - “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.”

When you think about it, all those security measures are great reminders to us of why the world needs a Savior.  Security exists because of a human propensity toward sin.  Of course, an omniscient God doesn’t need our video cameras to know what mischief we had been up to. Despite all He knows about us, out of His love, forgiveness, and compassion “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. “ (Romans 5:8) Or as the other half of Isaiah 53:6 says: “But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” The first step in coming to Jesus is recognizing we are in need of salvation. Today’s security systems are very good reminders of that fact.

Some people may think of God as a kind of divine security guard–there to catch people doing wrong and to enforce the rules.  But the Bible tells us that our life is all about having a loving relationship with the God of the universe.  He understands us very well – our propensity toward sin, how subject we are to temptation, how much we fall short in loving others.  His undeserved love and forgiveness becomes our motivation for living for Him.  We don’t need video cameras and security guards as our motivation to obey Him.  We serve Him out of gratitude, not out of fear.  We serve Him as a response to His love, not out of the fear of punishment.  “We love because He first loved us.”  (I John 4:19)

We have come to accept security surveillance as part of everyday life in a fallen world.  It has become a necessary part of government enforcing the law.  But to us as Christians, they have extra significance, because they are little reminders of where we would be without the Lord.  So every time you see a security guard or video camera, just say “Lord, thank you for this reminder of how much I need You.  You have forgiven me much; I now serve you and others out of gratitude for what you have done.”

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