I’ve come to a decision on one of my beliefs. It kind of happened last week while I was showering. I can’t remember what I was thinking about, or maybe I was praying. Who knows. At any rate, this kind of hit me, and I believe it was God speaking to my heart, but I won’t say with 100% certainty that it was. As you know, I’m skittish about saying “Thus says the Lord”, and all of that jazz. I’ve seen too many people burned by it. So here goes my thinking…

 

Jesus was not tolerant. Jesus simply loved.

 

In itself, I don’t think this is anything groundbreaking for anyone. I mean, we all know Jesus loved. We sing the song from the time that we are kids, “Yes, Jesus Loves Meeeeeeeeee”. Yet, I also believe that there is something profound about this truth. The world that we live in today stresses tolerance. We must be tolerant of other people’s belief systems, or the ways in which they choose to live their lives. Sometimes to me it seems that in our striving to be tolerant and politically correct, we compromise what we truly believe. This wasn’t Jesus. People knew where He stood on everything. He was not tolerant. He just simply loved us.  Check out this definition:

 

Tolerance (noun)- a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, religion, nationality, etc differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.

 

Fair, objective, permissive. Doesn’t this sound like our world? And while I can understand the need to not judge, because the Bible tells us this, I can’t help but think that we use that scripture as a basis for not standing up for the Gospel. I know that I have no room to speak ill against anyone for anything. God’s grace is too powerful for me to even be that ignorant. I’m merely saying that Jesus was not fair, objective, or permissive. Jesus spoke the truth, because He loved! Jesus came to teach us that God’s grace demanded more of us than the law ever could. This is why Jesus says that He did not come to repeal the law. If we are Christians, the Law of Grace pushes and presses us towards higher standards than the law can even hope to aspire too. This is why it is so important for us to understand what power love can have when we do it as Christ IS it. When we love others as Christ does, then we understand the flaws that we have, but we also see the opportunity for grace to abound. When we love others as Christ does, we can look at lives not as reflections of a sinful world, but as Christ intended that life to be when He created it. When we truly learn to love, tolerance is the least of our worries, because we understand that fairness has nothing to do with grace. Objectivity has nothing to do with grace. Permissiveness has nothing to do with grace.

 

God was not objective when He decided that He would save us all. He was focused only on the fact that He loved us fiercely. He was not fair, either. Fair would be leaving us to die. Justice demands it. He is not permissive of our sin. He simply loves us. And in His unfailing love, He demands that we live our lives in the same manner, not dismissing sin, not nodding our heads in approval to the ills of this world, but also not turning our noses up at people who are different from us. His love demands that we accept all in love, and allow His Spirit to change them.  To me, tolerance is simply a false pretense. It’s nodding your head, but closing off your heart. I don’t want to be tolerant. I want to love.

 

Lord, search my heart. Find the areas of my life where I have tolerated sin and chosen not to deal with it. Open my eyes to the areas of life where I have tolerated people, and not loved them. Forgive me for not living up to your will in this area, and help me, by the power of your Holy Spirit, to love as You love me- without regard for anything else aside from the fact that you LOVE me. You have not called me to be tolerant, but to love. And as I love, YOU will do the work that needs to be done in the lives that you send me out to. I thank you, Father. Amen.

 

Until next time, be blessed.

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