Christian Clichés: The Things We Say #1

You know those little phrases that we have? Like “Jesus is the reason for the season.” or “God will never give you more than you can handle.” We like to coin little sayings to remind us of stuff – things that will stick in our heads easily and be remembered when it’s most important. But sometimes we repeat things without really thinking about them. What sounds sweet and harmless at first may be misleading or false when we really evaluate it. And while some of these sayings are true and helpful, we may find others to be surprisingly shallow when viewed through the lens of God’s Word. So this is what I’m going to try to do with this little series; I’m going to do my best to look at these little sayings through God’s Word and see whether they pass the test. Our first candidate:

“God Will Never Give You More Than You Can Handle.”

It sounds sweetly innocent and encouraging and yet one must ask, “is it biblical?” Was Job given only what he could handle? Was Esther given only what she could handle? How can we say that God will never give you more than you can handle when the bible gives us a plethora of examples that contradict that statement?

The common verse used to back up this statement is found in 1 Corinthians 10:13. It says:

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

But if you think about this verse, it actually simply reminds us that we cannot endure hardship without God. It has nothing to do with what we personally have the strength to bear, but everything to do with the fact that God makes our way of escape so that we can bear the struggle through Him.

You see, there is a point in our struggle when we become aware of the fact that we cannot do this alone and it is at that point that we fall into the waiting arms of our Savior and rest, placing our fears in His capable hands. This is when we learn to trust Him. This is when we learn that without Him we are nothing. These are the times when our love for our God is renewed and we grow closer to Him in the end. So isn’t it far better to say “God will never give you more than He can handle?”

What are your thoughts on this saying?

Also, are there any sayings that you would like to be included in this series? Let me know!

12 comments

  1. Lindsay says:

    I think you are exactly right. Got definitely gives us more than WE can handle so that we can rest assured knowing that HE can handle it for us. If we trust in Him, nothing is impossible. I heard this once and I can’t remember where and I’ve probably butchered the words, but the sentiment is the same. “God has the power to calm the storm or get you safely through it.” Basically, even though things are tough and you might be asking “why me?” you have to remember that God can get you through anything if you just put your trust in Him.

  2. Mardawna says:

    When we are weak He is strong. Christians today are losing their lives for saying they believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior God. When we are going through trials, we need to ask our self will it matter in a year? in 2? Or is it trival? Some times we keep going through the same old trial because we haven’t learned the lesson. I’m so guilty of that. But with God’s grace, I re-learn, and grow and have yet another story to use in my testimony of how God has loved me through it all.

  3. This saying has always bothered me too, RachelAllison. I recently told a friend, who is going through a divorce, that this is a time she is not strong enough to endure and must run to Him, cling to Him. He is the only One that can get her through it. I anticipate reading of the other ‘Christian Cliches’ you address 🙂

    • Amen! It seems to me that if we tell people to expect only what they can handle, it will hurt them in the long run when the trial comes to be beyond what they can handle… instead we should be reminding them to look to Him! He is our strength in weakness. Thank you for reading, Stephanie! 🙂

  4. Tresta says:

    I completely agree, Rachel. This comment has always bugged me; my thought is always, “If you are living a life that you can handle, what need do you have for Jesus? And how boring!” And too often this phrase is applied to situations that we have gotten ourselves into, by our sin.
    Love your insight and grace ; )

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