PLEASE STOP With the Christian Cliches

About a decade ago, I got a call from the parents of a young man who had been in my youth group a few years earlier. He had been dating a girl for a couple of years, and they had gotten engaged and were in the middle of planning a wedding, when the bride-to-be called the whole thing off and disappeared.

At this time, I was living hundreds of miles away in a different state. The reason the parents called me, was because this young man was losing his mind. Every Christian he knew was throwing the “Christian cliches” at him: “God knows best!” and “God gives us what we’d ask for if we knew what He knows” and “Sometimes God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”

I knew what he was going through. I’d experienced a similar thing years earlier. His parents thought that I might be able to help him find some answers.

I didn’t. I told him I don’t know why God allowed this to happen. That it didn’t make sense. That it was hard and that I would get harder.

Truth hurts. 

Christians can make the strangest claims when comforting those who are suffering. What do you say to someone whose life is falling apart? If you have but few precious minutes with a person who’s lost a job, home, spouse, child, or all sense of purpose, what comfort do you give?

We might turn to conventional wisdom instead of Scripture and end up saying something like, “Don’t worry, this wouldn’t happen in your life if God didn’t think you could bear it.” The sufferer may object, head shaking and hands up. But you insist, “Look, seriously, the Bible promises God won’t ever give you more in life than you can handle.” There it is—conventional wisdom masquerading as biblical truth. You’ve promised what the Bible never does.


SOURCE: The Gospel Coalition

God Will Give You More than You Can Handle