By Josiah David
“Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.” -G. K. Chesterton
Tell me if this sounds right: “For God so tolerated the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Could such a life-altering gift be offered to beings so lowly in comparison to this almighty God as a result of His mere tolerance for humanity? I bring this comparison forward to counter the world’s cry for tolerance with a higher and more meaningful call. Of course the displaced word from the scripture reference above is love; this is the standard to which we are called. What a simple, foundational truth that is so often left behind by so many well-meaning but ineffective Christians. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 clearly defines the results of loveless living.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith, so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
The sad fact is that many who carry the title of a follower of Christ cannot even achieve the sub-par expression of mere tolerance. Every act of Jesus on the earth screamed out the clear message of love; from his interaction with the children who were rebuked by His disciples, to the encounter with the adulteress, condemned by the religious leaders. His acts were so radical and contrary to cultural norms that He usually caused a great stir wherever He went. Often our idea of love is expressed in action, or lack thereof, meant to prevent or avoid rocking the proverbial boat. If we believe that God is love and Jesus is God, I believe that we can easily assess that the example set by true love in human form was not one that shied away from boat-rocking. In fact you may even be able to say that is was one of His favorite pastimes; yet every action was derived from deep true love. This was the very nature and identity of Jesus. True love steps on toes, breaks cultural rules and defies the accepted norms that allow us to be complacently comfortable…
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