I Can’t, But He Can


The other day I was speaking on a webinar and I was emphasizing one of my favorite quotes, “Poor people say, ‘I can’t.’ Rich people say, ‘How can I?’” In all its simplicity, I think it’s a remarkable adage. There is real power behind how our thought process affects our actions.

As I was driving home that evening from the office, I started rethinking that quote. No matter how much I love it, I was suddenly struck with how absolutely wrong it is. Instead of the query, “How can I?” it should be, “How can He?” See the difference? We’re not able, but God is.

For some, that idea is frightening. Many of us, myself included, are professional and incredibly practiced “control-freaks.” The idea of handing anything over to anyone else, including our most capable and willing God, makes us squirm and quake in our boots. “What if He won’t… or worse, what if He can’t help me… then what?”

I came up against this myself during the Great Recession when I was steeped “neck-deep” in my own “ableness.” You see, I had been practicing the “How can I” on steroids mantra and had over-leveraged myself in my real estate business. When the financial world at large came crashing down, so did my financial world.

After much soul-searching, I found out, and eventually accepted, how absolutely “unable” I really was. When I was in charge, I messed everything up! So I gave back the wheel to God and began to see His marvelous works in my life. Now, no matter how rough, or how hard the journey is (and it’s still hard), I now know God is Able.

Don’t make the mistake I made and put your strength in yourself. Your strength is a false economy. When you are strong—when you ‘think’ you are strong—that is when you are at your very weakest. Paul says, “When I am weak, then am I strong.” Our strength does not lie in ourselves; it lies in our redeemer. Therefore, allow God, who alone is able, to make you stand.

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