Tuesday, June 2, 2020

A Tolerant Love

Tuesday, June 2, 2020 Some material taken from Boundless Love by Van Houser
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith inJesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:21-24
TolerationWhat a heavy word in view of the events going on right now in our world. The word toleration has many meanings. Originally, the word toleration meant to acknowledge that others have differing beliefs and accept that it is their right to do so. As Christians, we are supposed to be tolerant of other religions and what they believe, as well as unbelievers. When I think of the word tolerant, I think of accepting people the way they are, even though they are different than me – not just in beliefs – but in other ways too such as nationality, likes and dislikes, etc.  There is a giant display of lack of toleration going on in our world right now. This may not be the platform to talk about that, but what I will talk about is the tolerant love of Jesus Christ and what that should look like in the lives of believers.
Another form of toleration is not having to do with other’s beliefs. Some things in life we tolerate because it is easier than eliminating them. We tolerate bad habits, people who abuse us, a messy desk, and even sin in our lives. Tolerating things like these in our lives instead of taking action is not a good thing because they will eventually drain our energy and cause us stress. We have a choice about who and what we allow or tolerate in our lives and not tolerating sin in our own lives is a choice we can make to better our lives. When a family member or close friend is involved in sin, it is not good to turn our heads and pretend we don’t see.  We can lovingly and prayerfully confront our loved ones in concern for their wellbeing. It is important that we follow biblical guidelines on confronting others, but equally important not to tolerate the sin of others, especially when it affects us as well.
Tolerating people can be tricky, especially if we think we can do it in our own power.  We are human and honestly, sometimes the people in our lives that God places there for us to tolerate are very hard to tolerate! As Christians we must always be tolerant in love of those in our lives. How much has the Lord had to tolerate from you? How many times have you broken His heart and disobeyed commandments?  We fail because we are human but Christ, in His boundless love for us, tolerates us far more than our human limits for toleration of others. 
Self-Interest can keep you from serving like Jesus. If everything you are doing or have planned for your life is more important than Christ’s call to service then you must admit to being self-centered. Our own selfish desires will keep us from loving others the way we are supposed to. Choosing not to accept others the way they are is akin to judging them. Also, it should be said that tolerating others does not mean agreeing with everything they believe.  We can disagree and tolerate each other in love.
To be tolerant suggests that we have a choice and the power to decide to not tolerate at some point.  But the boundless love of Jesus Christ in our lives changes everything, including our ability to tolerate others. Loving others with a tolerant love, such as Christ has for us, is having patience with others, taking the time to understand where they may be coming from, and allowing space for differences. Being tolerant of others looks like grace and feels like acceptance. Jesus accepts us as we are and meets us in the middle of our messes. His boundless love and grace tolerates our failures over and over again, and never gives up on us. Be mindful of those who cross your path.  Show the tolerance of His boundless love to everyone you come in contact with today and every day.
Lara Cook

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