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Feel Like You Can't Take It Anymore? You're Right.

Updated on February 7, 2012

If you have fallen victim to the Christian old adage, “You will not be given more than you can bear…,” listen closely. You will be given more than you can bear, but you don’t have to take it. Well meaning Christians often misquote, misinterpret, and miss the mark on 1 Corinthians 10:13 which states,“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

God will not give you more than you can bear. He says “My yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:30).” If anything, He will give you less than you can bare while exercising your ability to “be faithful in the small things then He will give you more (Matthew 25:23).” While God will not give you more than you can bear, others will.

A boss can and will ask you to take on more hours at work. Your loving spouse may need his/her shirts starched, packages mailed, and lunch packed. Your children might need their homework checked, their team uniform cleaned, and a homemade goodie for tomorrow’s bake sale. Your best friend wants to hang out, your church needs a greeter, and the PTO is calling for your input on next month’s fundraiser. But do you know what? You can say no, before your head starts spinning around on your shoulders like a scene from the exorcist. When you have more than you can bear, it’s not their fault, it’s yours.

The next time you feel like you’ve lost control, remember, you didn’t lose control, you gave it away. The power is yours to say no, to know your own boundaries, and to stick to them. It is so easy to blame the people around us who “make us” feel pressured to do the things we don’t want to do. But we must own our part in the unhappy place where we have found ourselves. Other people can’t “make” you feel pressured (try as they might). If you feel pressured it is because you allowed yourself to feel this way. You pressured yourself for fear of disappointing the person or persons around you. You took responsibility for the other person’s feelings and sacrificed your own. Bottom line, you enabled them to take advantage of you. Their happiness is not your responsibility, but yours is.

If you are feeling like you have ‘more than you can bear,’ evaluate which things you do and don’t want to be doing. Then begin to slice away at the activities, duties, and responsibilities that you don’t want (or need) to be doing. Prioritize by deciding which things are the most important to you. Then ask God which things are most important to Him. When you have a clear outline of what you are doing and why, you won’t waste your time on tasks that will drain your time and energy. Your day and your life will have greater purpose, and you will lose that nagging feeling of guilt (coupled with resentment) that left you tired, angry, and overwhelmed.


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      Christy Stewart 3 years ago

      I will pray for you Zanele. I am so sorry :(

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      zanele 3 years ago

      I really feel its too much for earning this salary and I have to support my family.I can't handle it nephew needs me and my daughter wish God can help me now it is so too much.

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      Shelly Black 6 years ago

      As I was reading the title I started to chuckle. Then once I scrolled down to the picture with the lady running from everyone, I spit out my coffee. lol...That reminded me of myself awhile back. I sat in on a training session about time management a few months back. We were given a sheet of paper with 24 slots on it. We had to fit everything we HAD to do in 24 hrs on that sheet of paper. That is when reality really kioked in for me. There wasn't even enough time for me to sleep at night! I asked for a few more sheets of paper to fit everything in. The instructor explained this was the purpose of the class. REPRIORITIZE! lol...Yes, I have recently learned it's ok to say "no" to others around me. Sometimes people don't realize that even though they think they are the only ones asking for something from you. There are usually a dozen people right behind them doing the same thing. When we lose sight of what's really important in life (God, family, then everything else) it can really have an effect on our lives. Thanks for the reminder Christy of being good stewards of our time. :)

    • Christy Stewart profile image

      Christy Stewart 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thank you for your kind words Mrs Hamilton! I can't imagine the insurmountable pressure you are under as a pastor's wife. I am sure you have many treasures stored up in heaven ;)

    • Write Lady profile image

      Write Lady 6 years ago from United States

      From the viewpoint of a pastor's wife, I agreed with everything you said. I am asked to do MANY things in the church that would overload me if I didn't learn to say no. Guilt often keeps us from saying "no" more often, but it is crucial that we determine how God wants us to use our 24 hours in each day. Your article was so good that I think it could actually be expanded into a great ebook--I would certainly read it! Blessings~WriteLady (Theresa Hamilton) A.K.A "The Accidental Preacher's Wife"

    • Christy Stewart profile image

      Christy Stewart 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Love your insight Christy! Praise God for His Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth, including the truth about God's best for our lives :)

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      Kristie McDougal 6 years ago

      I couldn't agree more! I do find that I have a hard time saying no, due to my people pleasing nature. I've found it easier the older I get though. I have also found that it's ok to say no to "good" things so I can protect and save my time for the "best" things...... My faith, family & friends. And thanks for the reminder that I'm to blame when I get a little cranky about something that I put on myself. :0)

    • larcaustin46 profile image

      larcaustin46 6 years ago from Austin, TX

      Well said! This is an issue that I find myself struggling with on an hourly basis--thanks for the reminder that I do have control over my priorities!

    • Christy Stewart profile image

      Christy Stewart 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks Dave and Robin! So true :)

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Christy: God will never give you more than you can handle, but, sometimes we try to take on more than God dishes out.

    • Christy Stewart profile image

      Christy Stewart 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Wow Robin! You are one busy momma! We can't scratch "kids" off our list can we?! ;) I find a greater sense of peace in knowing that the furniture didn't get polished when I know it is because I 'chose' not to do it (by choosing to spend time with my kids instead), not because "I am a terrible housekeeper". Making the choice eliminates the guilt and gives me greater joy in whatever I activities I allotted my time to :)Instead of seeing my dirty house as a failure, it becomes a testiment to a greater accomplishment; investments in the lives of others. With that said, I just finished polishing my furniture!

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      Robin 6 years ago

      I feel like I have too much to handle with being three months pregnant and nursing a 9 month old. I can't take those things off my to-do-list (although I could formula feed- too expensive though), but I can prioritize all the other things in my life. Thank you for the reminder that God bears my burdens and makes them lighter.

    • braincancersux profile image

      braincancersux 6 years ago

      Great lesson on the importance of setting boundaries!