Sunday / September 16 / 2012
“God will never give you more than you can handle” and other B.S. Christian-isms
True or false…? “God will never give you more than you can handle.”
I say that without question or apology as I can attest I’ve been given “more than I can handle” — more than once.
God isn’t lounging around up in heaven doling out precisely what He thinks people can handle. He’s not at an executive mahogany desk with a list of toils and snares saying to Angel Gabriel, “Yeah, those folks in Thailand are pretty solid. Let’s toss them a tsunami. They can handle it. Oh, and that Mrs. Jay is a tough one. Let’s give her cancer. She can handle it.”
I pen this post on a Sunday with a dose of insolence. Today is considered “Church Day” by most Americans, whether they attend or not. Isn’t that uncanny when you consider the huge decline in church attendance? I’d argue that showing up to a building for an hour is us “going” to church; the way we live our lives is us “being” the church.
Nowadays when someone asks me if I’m a Christian, my first response is, “It depends on what you mean by Christian” – because the truth is, if the asker bills himself a Christian and behaves like a self-righteous, arrogant buffoon, I am most certainly not going to say, “yes, I’m like you.”
Words are important, friends. They matter so please choose wisely (more here).
If you tell someone, “I’ll be praying for you,” then please follow-through and actually pray for that person. Stop using it as a feel-good one liner to fill an uncomfortable pause in the conversation.
Oh, and when I talk about a “huge decline in church attendance,” I mean that 94% of churches are losing ground in the communities they serve. I don’t delude myself by thinking I have all the answers. (Incidentally, nor should you.) But I dare say the decline has something to do with how Christians portray themselves to this world.
I daydream about the day when we ALL (self included) begin to wrap our minds around the perplexities of hope and faith, embrace diversity, and learn to live in unity.
But since that’s probably going to take a while, let’s start a list… a revised Blueprint For Life. You in!? What would YOU add to the list? Please post your comments in the “Leave a Reply” section below. We’re better together.
REVISED BLUEPRINT FOR LIFE
- Embrace the freedom to not have an answer for something. It can be heart-wrenching to not have an answer for why someone suffers, excels, or triumphs — but using, “It’s God’s will” can be very unfair. You’re not God. You’re not privy to what “His will” is or isn’t for the lives of any of His beautifully crafted creations — other than the one that is yours, of course — uniquely, sublimely yours.
- Have you ever been faced with a particularly difficult, painful, or challenging time? …only to hear the voice of a friend say, “Just lean on Jesus. He’ll be your support. He’ll wipe your tears.” How much more powerful would it have been if that friend had literally been there for you to lean on? To embrace. To laugh with. To absorb your tears. To be authentic. Be that friend.
People need people. They do not need any more pat, meaningless, trinket cliches. Now, go… “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi