3 Lies We Believe About the Bible

Dangerous clichés we've crafted from Scripture
3 Lies We Believe About the Bible
Image: PEARL / LIGHTSTOCK

I keep notebooks in my kitchen to write down the things my children say, such as the fact that bare (bear) feet say “Grrrr.” I want to remember the time we ate “flamingo” for lunch in our mango and watercress salad. Mistakes like these are a way children learn about language, and though it’s adorable when they’re 3, I certainly don’t want a 23-year-old calling a mango a flamingo.

But I wonder if this inability to mature in our contextual understanding is a bit like what has happened regarding some statements from or attributed to the Bible. One Christian misunderstands a text, it goes viral, and one day, I’m at the store and see a sign that says, “Flamingos: 99 cents!”

It’s easy to change a sign. But is it as easy to reinterpret some notoriously misunderstood texts?

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

Sometimes, a stranger or friend who hopes to offer encouragement will tell my friend Laura, “Well, you know God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Jonathan, Laura’s third child, was born premature and lived his first five months in the NICU. Since then, he’s spent more time in the hospital than many septuagenarians. Laura honestly tells me, “I have definitely been given more than I can handle.”

The oft-quoted statement “God won’t give you more than you can handle” isn’t actually in the Bible. Rather, it’s a misquoting of 1 Corinthians 10:13. Here is the passage in context:

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Joy-Elizabeth Lawrence

Joy-Elizabeth Lawrence (MCS, Regent College) is a TCW regular contributor and blogger for Reformed Worship. She tells biblical stories, speaks about worship, and cares for her young children in Willowbrook, Illinois. Find her at PathlightStories.com.

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Bible; Community; God's Word; Scripture; Suffering
Today's Christian Woman, October 14, 2015
Posted May 24, 2016

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