A bit of a shock wave moved through our country this week as a fair-sized financial institution was forced to close. Silicon Valley Bank experienced a “run” on the bank. Depositors, fearing the bank would collapse, tried to pull their money out, which accelerated the problem into a crisis. The government worries rightly that this can make other people withdraw money from their banks creating a kind of domino effect in the banking system.
The question that comes from this is whether those that have money locked up in a defunct bank will get their money back. Banks have FDIC insurance for this reason, but it has a limit. Businesses routinely carry more than that limit because of their size. So, companies who were looking at losing money wondered whether they would be “made whole.” Made whole is an expression for getting everything back that has been lost. In other words, will I be at 100% when this is over?
On Tuesday of this week, I heard interviews with two company presidents who had money at Silicon Valley. They had a horrible weekend worrying whether they could survive, much less thrive, without the funds they placed there. It was an anxious, sleepless weekend. Once they heard, on Tuesday morning, that they would be “made whole,” they breathed a sweet sigh of relief and felt the freedom of knowing they could pay their employees once again and keep being the best companies they could be. One could hear the joy in their voices.
Interestingly, the best theological description we have for being made whole is the word “salvation.” We have, sadly, reduced this word into something that means avoiding hell, or escaping something negative. This definition has been used so long, and so poorly, that it has sapped the word of its original intention and power. The right use of this word means wholeness or fullness—being everything good. Just like with the folks who know their deposits are safe, we know our salvation is safe, on deposit in the heavenly realms.
Those Bible folks heard that as gospel—good news! Made whole! Made whole now in the eyes of God and through the power of God. Made whole forever and ever. Now they felt free to live life openly, justly, generously, and faithfully. No matter how much the world tried to shut them down, take from them, or try to change them—they knew that these kinds of losses were short-term. Even death, earth’s greatest closing, could not keep them from being made whole. They were saved! Joy!
Friends, live your life now in the freedom of knowing your 100% is guaranteed. Heed and trust the words of Jesus: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Made whole. Makes your heart feel good, doesn’t it?
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Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana