Prepper – How Much is Too Much, and is it Biblical?

A prepper woman buys toilet paper

Are You A Hoarder, A Prepper, or Just Planning Ahead?

As every Boy Scout will tell you, being prepared is a good thing. At what point, however, do you become a prepper, and is it biblical to do so? Common sense will tell you to keep certain necessities on hand. Basic staples such as medicine, soap, toilet paper, bread, milk, and eggs are a few common things we don’t want to have to run out at the last minute to obtain. Apparently toilet paper was not on most people’s list before the pandemic, but I’m guessing it is now.

What Is A Prepper?

The image most people conjure up when they hear the term prepper is a bearded survivalist toting a shotgun while schlepping canned goods down to their underground bunker. This prepper is prepared for world war, Armageddon, or the zombie apocalypse, whichever comes first.

A prepper with a gun.

Today however, in light of the recent pandemic, that image is changing. Today’s prepper is preparing for another pandemic, riots on the street, or insurmountable weather conditions. The prepper arsenal of today will still likely include a gun or some other weapon. It will also have plenty of paper goods, batteries and battery packs, and some canned and dried food.

It’s less likely to be in a sophisticated bunker though. It’s really more about simply having necessities on-hand that they might not be able to obtain if retail establishments are inaccessible due to the conditions we mentioned above, which are far more likely than Armageddon or a zombie apocalypse.

13 There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, 14 and those riches were lost in a bad venture.

Ecclesiastes 5:13-14

When Does Prepping Become Unbiblical?

At some point though, enough is enough. I think preparation for the unexpected is a great thing, and a necessary thing. The bible illustrates this in Proverbs 6:6-8;

Go to the ant, O sluggard;
    consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
    officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer
    and gathers her food in harvest.

Proverbs 6:6-8

There is a point however when you have too much, unnecessarily. We’re all familiar with the great toilet paper shortage of 2020. Even today I can scarcely believe I’m typing those words. Still, it was what it was, and it was a real thing. In response, baby boomers that had never seen anything quite like it, save perhaps the gasoline shortage in the early 1970’s, were quick to stock up on TP as soon as it was available. When does it become too much? Fifty rolls? One hundred rolls?

With that in mind, where do we stop on other necessary items? Do we buy so many canned goods we’d never be able to eat them all before they expired? (Do they really expire?). How much ammo is too much? How many guns? How much medicine? When do we go from prepared, to prepper, to unbiblical?

20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Luke 12:20-21 ESV

Can I Be A Prepper And Still Have Faith?

I believe that a person, or family, can be well prepared…perhaps even considered a prepper, and still not be disobedient to God. God’s will is going to be done regardless. If He has led you to be slightly more prepared than the average person, so be it. My attitude is simple; I will do some basic, sensible preparation, but if it’s my time to go, then it’s my time to go, I’m not afraid to die.

With that said, that death should not be due to my own stupid negligence. I don’t think it would be particularly prudent to die in the suburbs surrounded by 3 million people because I couldn’t get to the grocery store to by bananas. The thing is, I don’t need to by 500 bananas, or 500 rolls of toilet paper, or 500 guns. As in Proverbs 6, some sensible preparation is both prudent and biblical.

Should Believers Really Even Care?

In 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 3, Paul chastises believers for sitting around, being idle waiting for Christ’s return. Similarly, I don’t think it’s prudent to just do nothing. In the event of another pandemic, riots, or freak winter storm we can’t just throw up our hands and wait for Christ to return. He WILL return mind you, but we don’t know when that 2nd coming will be.

Instead, let’s look at the inner prepper in us and plan ahead, not only to help ourselves, but our neighbors as well. Do you have a young family with kids on your block? Do you suppose that family has the time and financial resources to do much preparation in advance? How about when you do your own prepping, you save a shelf for their potential needs? This is not only smart, but biblical.

Conclusion

I think much of what we have seen with the pandemic, the vaccine, the economy, and the geopolitical views expressed worldwide are all part of the desensitizing and preparation for accepting what will come in the end times. As baby boomers, we anticipate that Christ will return at any time, but we don’t know when. What we do know, especially now, is that the world can change dramatically and quickly. We need to be prepared for eternity by making certain we have accepted Christ in our hearts and minds. We can also prepare to be effective a little longer on this rock when the SHTF moment comes by doing a little prepping too.

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