11-03-19 Conventional Wisdom

“Conventional wisdom masquerading as biblical truth.”

There’s a phrase I run across very often and every time I read it or see it or hear someone use it I cringe. I hear it frequently in the context of Christians (often in name only, but among believers as well) that are going through a difficult trial or trying to comfort someone who is.

Are you overwhelmed with your life?

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

Are you dealing with a wayward child?

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

Are you struggling emotionally or financially?

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

Are you heartbroken over the loss of a loved one or relationship?

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

I can’t find where this line of thinking is Biblical. The big tragedies of life, the earth shattering ones, by their very nature they are too big to handle. The doctrine of ‘God won’t give you more than you can handle’ is dangerous and disingenuous to the person that suffers. One of the main tenants of our relationship with a Holy God is the recognition that without him everything is too big to handle.

Trust me, when skyscrapers fall in your backyard it isn’t because God thinks you can handle it. When you miscarry your child it isn’t because God knows you are strong enough to pull through. When you are hit with the loss of a loved one, it has nothing at all to do with your strength.

I’ll repeat… It has nothing to do with your own ability or strength.

Bad things happen because we live in a sinful, broken, corrupt world where things like murder, disease, and genocide exist. We aren’t built to ‘handle’ those. Ask the Jews in Auschwitz and I think they would agree.

What then?

Christ. The answer is always Christ.

Are you overwhelmed with your life?

Walk through it with Jesus.

Are you dealing with a wayward child?

Walk through it with Jesus.

Are you struggling emotionally or financially?

Walk through it with Jesus.

Are you heartbroken over the loss of a loved one or a relationship?

Walk through it with Jesus.

God gives us strength to go through the things we can not handle, but we must first acknowledge that we are woefully unqualified in the absence of his grace. It is only through Him that those painful things don’t destroy us, but rather aid us on our journey of sanctification.

As believers, let us be wary of “conventional wisdom” that masquerades as biblical truth- and instead let us encourage one another and those around us that their strength is not in what they can handle, but rather in Christ who can handle it for them.

If you have a few minutes, take the time to read the article I linked to above.

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