Half Truths: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves and Other Things the Bible Doesn’t Say,
by Adam Hamilton
On January 29th, we start an exciting five-week series about a book by Adam Hamilton (the same guy who wrote Making Sense of the Bible). A great chance to look again at some saying that you might have thought were biblical, and how each one of them is only half true at best.
January 29: Everything Happens for a Reason. The majority of people polled think this saying is biblical. There are some ideas in some places in the Bible that may help you think this is true, but there are also plenty of reasons, biblical and more, why it really isn’t true at all. This saying and the thought behind it can be one of the most hurtful things said to people who are suffering and grieving. So stop saying it!
February 5: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves. Thanks, Ben Franklin, for taking this Greek saying from long before Christ, and making it popular and catchy! But this is no explanation of how things work in the world, or in the Bible.
February 12: God Won’t Give You More than You Can Handle. 1 Corinthians 19:12-13 seems to say something a lot like this, so it’s tempting to accept the saying, and it certainly gets tossed around a lot on social media and in personal conversations. But it the fact is that lots of people get more than they can handle, and the evidence is all around us, as well as in the Bible.
February 19: God Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It. As popular as this saying is on the bumpers of some cars belonging to some Christians, it raises a lot more problems than it settles. The truth is hardly ever so easy to nail down as that.
February 26: Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin. Certainly not biblical at all, but that doesn’t keep some folks from using this as a way to justify their treatment of people whose behaviors (and identities) they don’t like. There’s trouble on both ends of this saying: is that behavior really a sin, and are you succeeding at loving someone while condemning them? Not an easy question to answer!