Have you ever heard or repeated this phrase: God won’t give you more than you can bear? Do you realize it’s a misrepresentation of Scripture? Life often gives us more than we can bear.
- The death of loved ones, especially a child (is more)
- The hopelessness that Alzheimer’s and Dementia bring (is more)
- The pain and agony of severe illnesses (is more)
- The lost job and inability to pay bills (is more)
- The hurt and despair caused by unfaithful spouses (is more)
- Coping with the suicide of a friend or loved one (is more)
- Depression, bipolar issues, PTSD, trauma, drugs (all can be more)
This list scratches the surface of the numerous ways we may face more than we can bear alone.
This misquote implies Suckitup; you got this; you don’t need help because God won’t give you more than you can bear. That’s not the intent of someone saying this; however, these words may spur the feeling that we should be able to “go it alone.”
It may prompt someone to reject the help of others when, in fact, God encourages us to come to Him in prayer, to lean on others, and to accept the Love of others. (Unity!)
Scripture teaches us reliance on God and tells us to pray for others and believe our prayers will be answered; it teaches us to bear one another’s burdens, to cast our burdens on Jesus, and to confess our sins to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Scripture also gives an example that even the Apostle Paul was burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that they despaired even of life. Why? So they would NOT rely on themselves but rather rely on God. Paul also told the Church at Corinth and all the Saints in the whole of Achaia that they must help them by prayer. (see 2 Corinthians 1:1-11).
So, What’s this Scripture really about? It’s about sinful temptations and idols, not the struggles and difficulties we suffer in everyday life but rather the temptations to sin that come our way and the escape from temptation God will supply.
Here is the Scripture-
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”1 Corinthians 10:13
Remember: Satan is the evil one; God is good, and all things good come from God!
“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempts no one.”James 1:13
The caregiver of a spouse with Alzheimer’s asked me to address this misquote of Scripture. It was recently stated to them yet again. Consider that, amid their overwhelming daily challenges, someone tells them, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” It’s disturbing and not helpful. I am very attuned to the challenges of an Alzheimer’s caregiver and understand the irritation this statement implies. It reminded me that when my family lost our Grandson in 2015, this was said to us, prompting unnecessary discussion during a difficult time. We understand the ignorance in which someone uses these words and give credit to the “intent of heart,” which is why we are mum to the expression when it’s used. We hope that bringing attention to this subject will encourage anyone who uses this misquote to realize the unintended implications, click pause, and try to stop repeating them.
Written In Love,
- Philippians 6:2
- Galatians 6:2
- 2 Corinthians 1:8
- 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
- James 5:16
- Galatians 6:2
- James 2:14-18
- 1 John 3:17-18
- Mark 12:31
- 1 Peter 3:8-9