Tolerance

Tolerance

One definition of tolerance is “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.” It’s fairly easy to be tolerant of others when your differences are minor; it becomes more challenging when the differences are major and there is little common ground.

God wants us to live at peace with all.

The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born.—Leviticus 19:34 NIV

In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.—Matthew 7:12 NIV

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.—Romans 12:18 NIV

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.—1 Thessalonians 5:15 NIV

Being tolerant requires patience and forgiveness.

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!”—Matthew 18:21–22 NLT

Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.—Luke 17:4 NLT

Clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.—Colossians 3:12–13 NLT

A willingness to adapt is also an important part of tolerance.

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.—Romans 14:19 NIV

When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.—1 Corinthians 9:20–22 NLT

We should be especially tolerant of those we have a hard time getting along with.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.—Luke 6:32–33

Tolerance is part of godliness.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.—Matthew 5:9 NIV

You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.—Matthew 5:43–45 NIV

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.—Ephesians 4:32

Ronan Keane

Ronan Keane is the executive editor of the Activated magazine. 

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