woman behind leaves

Acceptance, forgiveness, and tolerance foster peaceful relationships. But should tolerance have boundaries?.

Love opens our heart to others despite their imperfections and unconventional behavior which is why Love is the key for tolerance. Some people have high level of tolerance and are patient and kind by nature while some are intolerant and easily get into a quarrel and fights which becomes a part of their character.

Tolerance is a characteristic that you inculcate from your childhood; it isn’t an easy characteristic to acquire. Life is cruel and wicked; a lot of crap is thrown at you every day and it ain’t easy to keep your cool and be patient but a life of tolerance is what Jesus expects from all of us, as he himself lived a life full of kindness and tolerance.

Jesus’ genealogy is a striking example of acceptance. In it, kings, leaders, and priests parade side by side with a harlot called Rahab who had turned to the Living God and been saved. Anyone would try to hide a Rahab in his genealogy but not Jesus. She was mentioned so that the world would know that Jesus’ kingdom was open to everybody, not just ‘somebody.’

During His mock trial and later His crucifixion, Jesus held His peace even when He was falsely accused, flogged till the flesh was ripped off His back, and that horrific crown of thorns was thrust on His head. He could easily have zapped His tormentors with a bolt of lightning, or transposed the self-righteous, sneering clergy to a spot in the vast deserts of Arabia with not a well in sight within a 100 km radius. In Mathew 26:53, Jesus says that He can get legions of angels to help Him, but He bore it all because He had come to fulfill a purpose, and anger works contrary to God’s will.

When the woman poured the ointment on His head, people judged her by her outward appearance and condemned her for her presumptuous act, but Jesus looked into her soul, saw true repentance and faith shining through those tear-filled eyes and readily forgave and accepted her. When this kind of love operates in our lives, we are better able to tolerate the faults and foibles in others and are less apt to jump to conclusions and sit in judgment. James 4:12 asks a scathing question: Who are you to judge your neighbor?

The Lord Jesus came up close and personal with multitudes of people. Yet, when He was hedged in by contentious crowds and controversy was building, He did not retaliate. He simply walked away. He withdrew from controversy, but did not shun people.

Deal with the rising mercury with tolerance, and look beyond the present into the future. If it’s important to Jesus, it should be to us too.

Proverbs 19:11

The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

Hebrews 4:14-16

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.


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