Friday, March 18, 2016

Why "God Won't Give You More Than You Can Handle" is a Lie

Several years ago, I hit rock bottom.  One thing after another was taken away from me and I tried - I tried so hard to be strong through it all.  I took it upon myself to be "the strong one".  I felt like I needed to be a rock for everyone else who was being affected by everything that was happening.

Eventually, the load became to much for me to bear on my own and I broke. I felt weak... I felt like a failure... and for some reason, I handled my grief and anger by not eating.  It wasn't that I wanted to be skinnier; it was half self-punishment and half numbness.

God was allowing it all to happen, and yet it was more than I could handle.

But before I get on a soapbox, let's look at the scripture that the expression comes from.

1 Cor 10:13No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

That's a little different, isn't it?  Now that that's out of the way, I want to get into why this expression is so dangerous and why it should be erased from our vocabulary.

It was more than I could handle

But ...

It wasn't too much for God.

I forgot that God alone is our rock, and this was never a role He wanted me to take on.

We are easily overwhelmed when operating in our own strength, but when we rely on God - we find peace, strength, and comfort. 

So why is "God won't give you more than you can handle" so dangerous?

1. It puts all the weight on you.
It can easily be interpreted as "Well, God  has given you the weight, so He must think you can carry it."  In other words, "put on your big-girl panties and deal with it."

2. It misrepresents the heart of God toward you.
When we put pressure on ourselves to carry something that God never intended for us to bear, it can eventually lead to anger with ourselves as well as with Him. "God, you think I can handle this but I can't!  Why are you doing this to me?  What you are asking me to endure is impossible."  We can easily see God as the source of our storm, when in fact, He is our refuge from it.
Psalm 46:1-3 - God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. 
3. It isn't really scriptural. 
... and we need to stop acting like it is.

God never promises not to give us more then we can handle - but He does promise that no matter what storms we walk through in this life: He is with us and our eternity is secure in Him.

Isaiah 41:10So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

God will never give you more than He can handle.


  1. Wow!! Thank you SO much for writing on this! This little bit of 'encouragement' has bugged me to no end and I am sick and tired of people spouting it as though it is truth. Because as you said, it isn't! And it isn't scriptural. My whole life is more than I can handle on my own which is why I need God. I can't even breathe on my own without His help. He put the breath of life in me.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I really appreciated reading this!

  2. Great post! I remember people "comforting" my widowed Mother by saying this to her as she was raising several children by herself. But, the Bible says to "Bear one another's burdens." Helping someone with their burden is so much better than reassuring them that it's not too heavy for them.

  3. ok this is right on time for me. God bless you! Thank you for writing this. We are at that place now :-( this was good to read. So happy to find it via the not just homemaking hop

  4. That is so perfect. I've heard this phrase so many times in my life and I've never really thought much about it. Deep inside I knew that your version - "God will never give you more than He can handle" - is the truth of it. Thank you for giving us such a wonderful insight on this.

  5. Thank you for this! I'd never really given it much thought, and I didn't know what scripture it came from. I'm pinning this so others can learn as well. Thanks! (I found you via the Classical Homemaking link up.)
    ~Heather aka HoJo~

  6. You are right, that scripture is mis-quoted so much and people believe it is in the Bible. We cannot be strong without God, and that means our focus needs to be on God not on the problem. I am so happy you have shared this! And, I hope you get alot of traffic!
    Joining you from Women With Intention where I have shared my posts from

  7. You are so correct. Out of context and it gives someone a "feel" good message instead of the truth they could really use!! This is definitely one of my soapboxes as well!! Coming over from Choosing Joy blog hop!! Thanks for sharing!!


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