The definition of tolerance is to accept something or someone who is different from the norm or standard we are accustomed to. The term “putting up with” comes to my mind, but that’s a terrible way to look at it. These days, there seems to be one missing ingredient to tolerance—and that is LOVE. Love for our fellow human beings. Love for God. (God is love.) Love has been taken out of the mix period.
Why are we so offended these days? Why do we call people ignorant and stupid and a host of other names? Why can’t we just let differences of opinion slide in conversations? We can agree that we disagree. We don’t always have to be right. —And truth be told, many times, we have been wrong.
There is something inside of all of us that wants to be cared for and accepted. It’s not hard to accept everyone. We may not agree with some things they do, because we wouldn’t do or approve of them. We don’t all believe the same things. But we should accept and love all people because we know that God loves them and he loves us too.
How tolerant are you? Do you overlook wrong ideas and behaviors? Do you look past those things to see how you can help people with the needs and struggles in their daily lives? We all have them, don’t we? Find the common ground. Build a relationship. Build each other up and learn how to love your neighbor.
Nobody is perfect. We are all growing in maturity and character every day (or at least we should try to be). We all discern things differently and have different convictions. We are on different paths in our spirituality. We all have stories to tell and we can learn from each other.
We are not here to condemn and judge anyone. That is God’s job. We are here to help and encourage one another in love. We can let others know when we think they are making wrong decisions or choices, but ultimately, those decisions and choices are their own –just as we own our decisions and choices. One day, we will all have to make an account to God for what we did and didn’t do.
The whole mission behind my blog is to help others develop character and virtue—To help others love God and love their neighbors. Those are the two commandments Jesus gives us in the Gospels.
God has been very tolerant of us from the very beginning of time. Shouldn’t we do the same? Here’s the tolerance worksheet2 that may be able to help.