Bible Stuff: The Lord Will Allow More Than You Can Handle!


I saw a comic strip today on Facebook. A little boy is standing before his bedraggled mom and apparently has some bad news. The caption reads, “Before I tell you what happened, Mom, remember… the Lord will never give you more than you can handle.”


Har har. It’s rare I find stuff like this funny. And though it was drawn well, the joke definitely goes in the “Christian Cheese” category (which I’m sure I will write about at a later date). I mention it because the caption is an example of a concept that many Christians believe but is completely untrue. Many believe that God will not allow any circumstances to come along that we can’t handle. I’ve heard people quote it. I’ve heard Pastors reference it from the pulpit.

This bit of “Church Truth” is based on a misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 10:13.

“ You are tempted in the same way that everyone else is tempted. But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and he will show you how to escape from your temptations.” (CEV)

I don’t know how the mistake was made, but it is obvious even from the first reading that the context is Temptation not Situation. Especially when you look at the previous verse and the context of the chapter. Here’s 1 Corinthians 10:12

Even if you think you can stand up to temptation, be careful not to fall. (CEV)

So clearly God will not allow us to be tempted above what we can bear and will always provide a means of escape. This means we can never claim, “The Devil made me do it!” because if we give in to temptation it’s because we chose to. No one can claim they had no other option.

Reading the entire chapter reveals that author is encouraging this believers to steer clear of the temptations their ancestors gave into and suffered for. Temptations like idol worship, immorality, grumbling. and testing God. So our verse 13 is clearly addressing temptations not situations.

The critic will say, “What’s the harm?” and I would say the harm comes in when someone who believes that God will not give them more than they can bear goes through something that they cannot handle at all. It causes people to lose their faith in God. It makes them wonder what other verses are crap. It makes them believe that God isn’t there or that is there, but doesn’t care.


There is also the fact that people outside of the church who hear this quoted know that it’s bull. They add that belief to their inner list of reasons not to take a relationship with Christ seriously. They know better than to believe that mess at face value and so should we.


It doesn’t take but a moment of thought to come up with a list of people that we know ourselves who are going through situations they cannot handle. People who have lost children, their home to a fire, those dying of any number of diseases, the depressed, the stressed, the abused child, and not to mention those we don’t know from the 3rd World who daily die from hunger or bad water.

Sometimes circumstances and situations arise in our lives that we simply cannot handle. It is more than we can take. Sure some of it is temporary and we get through it, but some of it stays. Some of it kills our loved ones. Some of it takes our own lives away… and there is no way out, easy or otherwise. Some things you just have to put your head down and just go through.

Thank the good Lord we do have someone on our side who works things together for our good, to those who are called according to his purpose. And when the trials come that are completely overwhelming, it doesn’t mean you have to get through it alone. You can do what anyone should do when they’re in a situation they can’t handle… get some help.

So when it comes to Temptation, you’re golden but life… that can get overwhelming. The thing to remember is that even though we won’t always be able to handle it, we know the God that can.

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