Thursday, September 1, 2011

Check words with the Word

First, I'm going to preface this with a little disclaimer: In no way, shape or form do I call myself a theologian. I'm just a child of God, trying to do my best with the Words I've been given (the Bible!) and the experiences I've had.


That said, I want to comment a little on the phrase, "God won't give you more than you can handle." These words get thrown around. A lot. I've been on the receiving end...multiple times. But I just can't bring myself to say those words to others. Why? I don't like the phrase.


I always assumed that because Christians say those words, they must be true. First mistake. Don't assume. Because, those words, however nice they might sound, are NOT BIBLICAL. I've looked in my Bible. I've searched online. And the plain fact is, God's Word does not include this phrase. (Some internet sites I've looked at think the phrase is a misquote of 1 Corinthians 10:13...a verse talking about temptation.)


And I'm so glad the words aren't true! This is why:


1. If God doesn't give me more than I can handle, why do I really need Him? If I can do things all by myself, why should I honor and serve God?


2. If God doesn't give me more than I can handle, He obviously doesn't know me very well! So much for an all-knowing creator. For instance, when Gracelyn was sick, it was WAY MORE than I could handle. But people kept telling me that God wouldn't give me more than I could handle. So in two ways, this really hurt. First, it made me feel that my feelings/emotions were inadequate and quite frankly, wrong. Second, the words passed on hidden untruths about God. God didn't care about me because He was giving me too much. God wasn't powerful because He wouldn't lessen my trial to the place I could stand. God wasn't all-knowing because He didn't know I couldn't handle my daughter being sick. Can you believe all those untruths are hidden in such a common cliche? Scary! (It makes me wonder what other false words I believe are true).


3. Taking this cliche out of play means there is room for the real TRUTH!


Truth such as:


* John 16:33 (Jesus speaking): "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” 


Jesus' words bring validity to my trials...trials and sorrows are REAL on earth. There's no pretending that being a Christian somehow protects us from trouble. But, we can have peace in God because Jesus has overcome the world!


And,


* Isaiah 43: 1-3a: "But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
      O Israel, the one who formed you says,
   “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
      I have called you by name; you are mine.
 2 When you go through deep waters,
      I will be with you.

   When you go through rivers of difficulty,
      you will not drown.

   When you walk through the fire of oppression,
      you will not be burned up;
      the flames will not consume you.

 3 For I am the Lord, your God,
      the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."

Now THAT'S a promise. Thanks be to God!

I would have healed under these words. Instead, I floundered and failed under Christian cliches passed off as truth. We all want to help those who are hurting. Let's just remember to check our words with the Word. Only then can we truly heal.

6 comments:

  1. Thank you. I really liked this post!

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  2. Yeah, great stuff. Cleanliness is next to Godliness is another cliche' I've not seen in Scriptures either! :)

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  3. That cliche has been said to me as well.
    Not a fav.

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  4. We discussed something similar last night at Bible Study. We like to believe, and tell our children, that if they work hard, they can be or do anything. But that is not the case. How many people do you know who haven't gotten their dream job or dream life or had everything go right for them all the time? That's most everyone, right? Are you going to blame that on their lack of work, or belief? Maybe that contributes for some, but not for all. The truth is, hard work brings some people success, and some people, despite their hard work, fall on hard times.

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  5. Great post! I feel the same way about that phrase. Someone once said to me that "God will always give us more than we can handle, so we lean on him." I've found that to be much more true!

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