I Can Do All Things?
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, Philippians 4:13. I see it on t-shirts, bracelets, and signs. It gets posted on social media and uttered by many who profess some form of godliness. However, can I really do all things through Christ? Does this verse sanction boundless endeavors with the aid of Christ? Unfortunately, this verse has been lifted out of its context and made to mean something which the inspired writer never intended. A closer look at the preceding verses gives us a better understanding of its usage. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, Philippians 4:11-13. The “all things” in this passage refers to the ability to be content in whatever situation Paul found himself. With the aid of Christ, the apostle could be content in adversity or prosperity, during poverty or plenty. Yes, we can do all things: i.e. be content in all situations through the strength we gain from the Lord. No, this verse does not mean that you can do whatever comes to mind because Christ is going to help you do it.
The bottom line is there are certain things we are not able to do for a myriad of reasons. Such an interpretation of this verse makes promises that the Lord never made. Furthermore, it sets one up for disappointment and a potential loss of faith when promises we think the Lord made are not realized. Certainly, we can go to the Father and ask Him to aid us in our endeavors, providing those endeavors are in line with righteousness (Cf. James 4:3 & 1 John 5:14). However, this is a far cry from saying that we can do anything because Christ is going to help us. The Lord has graciously extended His helping hand towards us (Cf. 1 John 5:14-15) let’s not abuse this grace by attributing promises to Him that He never made.
Something to think about