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Twice this week I’ve heard two statements which resembled truth.  The first one was, “Fear is the beginning of wisdom.”  Sound true?  Sound like something you heard in the Bible?  Think again.  Solomon told his son, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…”  Just a bit different.  Jesus Himself, the Prince of Peace, said not to fear.  Paul the Apostle said that “perfect love casts our fear.”  So it seems to me that the only one we are to fear is God, and to fear anything else leads to neither wisdom nor faith.

Then I heard that God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle.  Is that really what the Bible says?  Don’t we all feel like our load is too heavy at times?  Where do we get this?  It could be just Christian folklore, or it could be a misquote of this verse in 1 Corinthians:  “God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”  Is there a difference?  Is He talking about stress and difficulties or is He specifically referring to temptations?

Don’t get me wrong.  If our problems are not related to temptations, I don’t mean to imply that He abandons us.  Not at all.  He provides, He directs, He corrects, He comforts…  Sometimes He points us in a different direction and uses difficulties to fine -tune our situation.

I’m increasingly saddened by these misquotes.  I hear them way too often.  God is discounted because of misunderstandings.  Has that ever happened to you?  Have people believed lies about you and abandoned you?  Have they misunderstood something you said, or were you misrepresented by others, only to have them turn their backs on you?  Think about it.  God is maligned continually, and mostly be well-meaning people.  They don’t know they’re doing it.  I’ve done it.

This is a call to clarity.  This is a plea to check the facts.  Jesus often said to His disciples, “You’ve heard it said, but I say to you…”  It happened even then.  Let’s believe what’s true and learn to trust what He really said.

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