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Loving People While Hating Tolerance

Our culture strongly endorses tolerance. Is it healthy for the church to embrace this trait? Is tolerance equal to love?
tolerance

“Kind people go to heaven!”

The note pictured above was on a cafe counter in Jerusalem. The pervading thought of “kind people go to heaven” is deeply ingrained in many cultures. Not offending others has become top priority today. Tolerance seems to reflect kindness. This has led many to think tolerance is love.

Love God, Love people

Jesus said the greatest commandments are to,

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind (and) love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:37, 39)

We align with God and ask the Spirit’s fruit to increase in our life – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.

We experience more of His transforming power and naturally start wanting to tell others about Jesus. We love neighbors and even enemies. We want them to experience life to the fullest.

An eternal concern

To not express concern for a person’s eternal welfare is not love but passivity.

Love does not include blind tolerance for unwholesome lifestyles that separate people from God.

Bringing a sword

The message of salvation can bring division. Jesus states,

Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matt. 10:34)

Social norms support people with unbiased tolerance for any lifestyle. Expect conflict when upholding biblical values.

Love and division

When lovingly talking with others about God, the message may not be appreciated. This should not change your God-given burden to see them rescued from eternal separation with the Creator. Oswald Chambers encourages,

Never be diplomatic and careful with the treasure God gives you.”

Defining love

Tolerance is easy, love is hard. As someone who follows the One bringing meaning to life and hope for the future, choose love. Real love leads people to a relationship with God. We have a treasure to give and tolerance will not save people from hell.

Please excuse my intolerance

If you do not follow Jesus, please excuse me for refusing to passively walk through life, ignoring a lifestyle not exhibiting a meaningful relationship with God.

I cannot idly stand by and watch you live a life displeasing to God, keeping you separate from Him.

Excuse my intolerance but accept my love and concern for your eternal destiny. John 3:16,

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

The challenge

Genuinely love! Be bold! Share your faith! Do not let tolerance stand in the way of telling others what God will do for them, about the forgiveness and freedom experienced when following Jesus.

What are some ways you can express love to your neighbor? Share your comments below.

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