“God won’t not give you more than you can handle” to a 17 year old who just lost her dad?

The gentleman didn’t know what to tell the young girl. He was overwhelmed by the account of how her dad died.

How did her dad die?

He was returning from work last Thursday evening. Because of the terrible traffic situation in Apapa area, he had stopped driving his car to the office, preferring instead the popular Okada motorcycles operating in most parts of Lagos. From Cele bus stop he joined another passenger and they began their ride towards the Jakande Estate, Ejigbo axis of Lagos. Around Pako area, the unexpected happened. And he died

Just like that?

Just like that. I don’t have the details but whatever I heard just did not add up so I didn’t bother sharing it with you

I’m sorry to hear that

He left behind a distraught wife and three young children, the oldest being the 17year old a good Samaritan had tried to comfort, and you got upset

 I wasn’t upset. I just feel the line though very popular, is so untrue

Sometimes, I wonder about you. Does it matter if it is untrue or not? We are talking about a young family that needs all the comfort they can get in arguably their most trying moment ever and you are worried as to whether something being used to comfort them is true or not? What does the good book say about rejoicing with them that rejoice and sorrowing with them that sorrow?

Don’t get me wrong. I sorrow with them. I mean it. To lose one’s husband and father in today’s Nigeria, is natural grief and sorrow multiplied by the power of X, where the scale of X is as numbing as death itself. Meanwhile, the good book to which you referred never says we should sorrow with those who sorrow using cold comfort.

There you go again. What is cold comfort?

Comfort that is cold! Pardon me, I don’t mean to make light of the matter but my point is miseducation does not help those we think to comfort if we tell them God won’t give them more than they can handle when that is not the case.

Do you know what you are saying at all? Do you know that some of the biggest motivational speakers on the planet use that line? Do you question these speakers or their intentions?

You’re the one taking this discussion into those territories. I didn’t mention motivational speakers. I was only responding to an attempt to comfort a young lady who just lost her dad. By the way, didn’t you say you didn’t share details of how her dad died because what you heard didn’t add up?

That’s what I said

And you don’t think we should refrain from speaking halt-truths or untruths? They never add up, you know.

Ok, my truth teller, please can you tell me what is the meaning of God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear? I’m sure you know that passage from the good book is the basis of the quote that has so riled you.

Have you ever tried to read that quote in context?

Yes, if you mean if I have ever read the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians Ten?

And you believe the commonly assumed meaning of the passage as the basis for the commonly used quote we are examining, is the right interpretation?

How is any of this going to help the widow and her children?

Believe me, my friend, miseducation cannot help them. Only the truth can. If you read that passage in context, you will see that the commonly assumed meaning of the passage is incorrect. It’s something you can easily see for yourself if you read the passage in context. Meanwhile, if you read the entire chapter One of 2 Corinthians in context, you would see that God does give you more than you can handle. For example, tell me later what you think when you consider more deeply verses 7, 8 and 9. If you are not convinced, the next time you pay them a visit, take some gifts with you, and share the solidarity of silence, if you are still grappling with things that don’t add up. Discontinue every miseducation supposedly meant to comfort those who grieve.

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