More than you can handle

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it.

I Corinthians 10:13

If you find yourself in the church culture (like I do), you are well aware of this passage from one of Paul's letters to the Corinthian church.  The verse has often been a source of great inspiration when I feel like giving up and I have told myself I don't have any other choice but to fail.

This verse has taken on it's own deceptive meaning due in part to our propagation of this false meaning to blame God for our busy, stressful lives.

Here's a typical conversation:

Merriam:  "Sheesh, I am so tired and stressed out!  My daughter has baseball practice on Monday and Wednesday and two games this Saturday.  She has math tutoring right after school on Tuesday and has a guitar lesson on Thursday night... she is so talented!  Friday's we're going to our church meeting at the Fillord's home and Sunday, well, Sunday, you know is church."

Ular:  "Wow, I can see why you would be so stressed out.  Just remember: God won't give you more than you can handle."

>>>>> HOLD ON!!!
Someone sound the alarm!

That's a category 5 use of 1st Corinthians 10:13.  Where do we get the idea that God won't give us more than we can handle?  I can see the "not-so" parallel between Him not letting us be tempted beyond what we can bear while ALWAYS providing a way out AND God not giving us "more than we can handle."

However, why do we find ourselves blaming God for signing our kids up for every activity in the Parks & Recreation brochure?

Or, for you college kids, how is it appropriate to apply this poor notion to the so-common situation of trying to write a final term paper the night before it's due while balancing your other commitments in life?

"Oh my!  That is such a rough situation with your final paper.  Remember, God won't give you more than you can handle!"

Two point need to be addressed:

1)  God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But, WHEN you are tempted, he will always provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

    subpoint A)  This passage states clearly that God LETS US be tempted
    subpoint B)  This passage states clearly that you WILL be tempted, it's only a matter of WHEN.

2)  God will give you more than you can handle...on your own.  Did he design us to be self-sufficient beings?  Nope.  We are to depend completely on Him and His grace for everything we are given.  We may be given little, we may be given plenty, or further, we may be given more than we can handle.

John 14:1  [Jesus speaking] Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me.

2nd Corinthians 12:9   [Paul Speaking about God in a time of weakness and distress]But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."



  1. Just call me Merriam. I know, i know- we only have ourselves to blame. Who is Ular?

    Haggai 1
    7 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored," says the LORD. 9 "You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the LORD Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands."

  2. thanks Daniel, it's one of my biggest pet peeves when people say, "God won't give me more than I can handle"...you explained it very succintly!