The “Everything Happens for a Reason” Lie

Updated: Feb 18

Everything happens for a reason

I’m willing to bet you’ve heard that multiple times. Can I tell you something?

It’s bullshit.

Everything does NOT happen for a reason. Sometimes stuff just happens—and sometimes that stuff sucks.

Was there a reason for someone’s child to get cancer?

Is there a reason my mother is suddenly having hallucinations?

God, I hope not.

Can bad things be used for good? Absolutely. But don’t give someone who is grieving or in pain such a horrible platitude.

It implies that their suffering has some greater purpose. The truth is, it doesn’t.

Suffering is random and cruel. There isn’t always a lesson to be learned.

God won't give you more than you can handle


Ask Jesus, who “sweat great drops of blood” if he had more than he could handle. He asked God to find another way.

Read the Psalms. David wrote a huge chunk of them and he could pass for a manic depressive.

What about Job? His wife told him it would be better to curse God and die. His friends blamed him for his troubles.

And who do you know who is personally suffering right now? Are they handling it? 2020 dealt a lot of pain.

Did you know that every 40 seconds a person commits suicide? They undoubtedly felt like they had too much to bear. How tragic.

This falsehood comes from a scripture passage in Corinthians where Paul talks about not being tempted beyond what you can handle.

Being tempted is different from having too much to bear. Stop telling people that God won’t give them more than they can handle. It isn’t true.

What do we say then?

Tell someone you are there for them and you care. Sometimes it is just that simple. No platitudes, no fanfare.

Just hearing, “I care,” means the world to a hurting person.

We look to make some sense of violence and disorder. The truth is, there isn’t always an explanation.

I suppose the secret is learning to have peace and faith amid trials. If you are a person of faith, the challenge is to believe that God is with you in trials.

If you are a non-believer, you have to find another path. Friends, meditation, yoga, etc.

But the important thing is to know that you are not alone. You haven’t been abandoned, even though it feels that way.

It sounds cheesy, but we are all in this together.

The second thing is to be there for one another. We are called to give life to one another. That is what wholehearted living looks like.

May we all be light and support one another in tangible ways. That is where true healing begins.

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