Monday, December 19, 2011

More than YOU Can Handle?

Have you ever had someone tell you, "Don't worry, God won't give you more than you can handle!" coupled with citing 1 Corinthians 10:13? The likelihood is very high that someone has told you this and you, in turn, have shared this hope with another person.

How would you feel if I told you that this completely wrong? First Corinthians 10:13 is not about dealing with handling life's difficulties, it explains "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." I may seem like I am splicing theological hairs, but I believe this point is important to the Christian navigating life. Let me explain.

First, this passage is dealing exclusively with sinful temptations we face. The Corinth church was a mess and Paul was writing with the purpose of removing their excuses or alibi's for why they continued to sin.

The problem with thinking "God won't give you more than you can handle" is it puts the focus on you and your ability to handle things in your strength. It's like God is measuring up person and calculating how much they can handle and then sending stuff our way that remains within our scope of ability things we can handle. This thought seems to cut against so many other principles found in Scripture. Namely God has said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)

I am not too proud to admit there are many things I can't handle on my own. Death is one such thing in a long laundry of things. It will strike all of us and everyone we know. God isn't expecting us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and suck it up in our own strength. He is instructing us to embrace, or acknowledge, our weakness and lean upon Him and His abilities.

I know people who say, "God won't give you more than you can handle" are really making an innocent mistake, but I believe this thought forces us to rely on ourselves and our abilities when Scripture clearly advises the Christian to a life of complete dependence on God. I encourage you today, to stop relying on yourself and to seek God throughout the day asking Him to help you through whatever you are going through. Remember the great truth found in Philippians 4:13, "I can endure all things in Christ who strengthens me!" (my translation of this verse).

1 comment:

Justin Murphy said...

I agree! Good post!