One of the biggest lies many of us are tempted to believe is this: “I am the only one who feels this way.” It is tied to another untruth I am tempted to believe at times: “There is something uniquely wrong with you.” This belief that others do not experience what we experience is not true. Consider the following verse.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
The most dangerous temptation we face is to believe lies. The devil is the father of all lies (John 8:44). He is only empowered when we meditate on and believe his falsehoods. This is what happened to Eve in the garden in Genesis 3. She was first deceived about God’s character and then sinned in her actions.
We all face the same temptations to believe lies and feel the following:
Like a failure
Disappointment with God, ourselves, and others
We are at a disadvantage compared to others
We are a victim of other people’s perceptions of us
Frequently when I am speaking to groups and referring to these types of internal battles, I will say, “If you have experienced or are experiencing these, welcome to the club. Everyone alive feels these to some level.”
I don’t know about you, but it is helpful to me to know I am not the only one who experiences certain life challenges. The words, “No temptation has overtaken you except is coming to man” has been a strength to me. Other translations say it this way:
No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others (NEV)
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face (MSG)
The only temptation that has come to you is that which everyone has (NCV)
Why is it important to understand that others are facing what we are facing?
It helps us get out of isolation and hiding – we know others can relate to us as we share our internal battles
It breaks the divide between speakers and listeners – there are no “Super Saints” who never struggle
We can help others at a greater level – as we identify with what people are experiencing and feeling, we will find our influence increasing
Finally, to encourage you even further, even Jesus experienced what we are experiencing. Look at this incredible passage:
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are,yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).
You are not alone. Welcome to the club. There is not something uniquely wrong, but there is something uniquely right about you in Him.
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Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.