“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
I must confess that when I read this misquote I cringe. Not because it’s a distortion of the scripture and Biblically untrue. It has the potential to be hurtful to the recipient.
1 Corinthians 10:13 is where this comes from and it says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.” (HCSB)
This verse is talking about being tempted with sin, specifically. Not life struggles in general. We all have awful struggles in life. God is there when we can’t handle it anymore. I’m not saying He gives or allows such things to happen, but when they do happen He is there to turn to. He’s our rock in the storm.
How is it potentially hurtful?
Imagine believing there is truth in this saying, then getting hit with a mind-blowing struggle that just leaves you reeling. You recall this passage and think:
1) God is a liar and is giving me too much,
2) I must be a weakling who can’t handle much,
3) Since God’s given me this, He’s testing me to see how strong I am or to make me stronger. I must hold on with all my might.
None of these points are true about you or anyone else. The idea that “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” is a lie. If anything He’s there for you when you can’t handle it.
Truth takeaway: We will be faced with more than we can handle. We can then turn to God for strength and grace. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Freedom takeaway: When you realize you can’t handle it, that’s okay. Confess it, “God I need help! I can’t handle this!”
(Images courtesy of here)