<<put up with>>

It is the ability to endure opinions, behaviour, or people you disagree with or dislike because of a higher or more worthy motive and objective. Tolerance
has both positive and negative aspects.

Tolerance is characterised by humility, patience, consideration and being open-minded towards the personal choices and alternative viewpoints of others while refraining from interfering or trying to force them to change. It is having the attitude of, 'I accept people for who they are without passing judgment on any action or lifestyle choice'. It is dealing

No one is perfect – including me –                    so please be considerate

gracefully with them, in the same way as we would like them to reciprocate, and not taking offence when it doesn’t happen (Lk 6:31; Rom 14:1-8).  A good motto to live by is, ‘in essentials things there should be unity, in non-essentials the freedom and liberty of personal persuasion, yet in all things love’. 

Have a clear understanding of what you believe while being open to the opinions of others, knowing it is pointless to get into serious debate over unanswerable questions (1 Tim 1:4; 2 Tim 2:14,16,23; Tit 3:9).  We should respect the viewpoints of other people with differing interpretations of Bible passages, yet when the Bible is specific in areas such as sin and the way to heaven there is no room for compromise, its truths are non-negotiable. The clear, non-compromising principles cannot be overridden, excused or bargained away. Although there may be differences in some matters, co-operation with those of other churches is healthy because, Jesus said, if they are not against us they are for us (Mk 9:38-40).

In all matters it is important to maintain standards of integrity fitting for Christians (Ps 101:3,7). Be strongly disciplined, knowing and practising right living, completely

Tolerance leads to acceptance

intolerant of sin and removing it from our lives so it does not master us. When we tolerate evil, we open the door to all kinds of sinfulness (Num 33:55; Prov 14:22, 21:10, 28:10; Rom 6:12, 8:13; Col 3:5).  The Israelites were required to completely destroy all idols and practices of foreign gods because what they allowed to remain as novelties and seemingly innocent habits or pastimes would become powerful snares, leading to their downfall – a case of the little foxes destroying the vine and the sowing and reaping principle (Deut 7:1-6, 20:17,18; SOS 2:15; Gal 6:7). Don’t give the Devil a foothold because he will take more and more, creating a stronghold; instead resist him in Jesus name (2 Cor 10:5; Eph 4:27; Jas 4:7).

When a Christian’s beliefs clash with the standard of tolerance set by society, the Christian is often labeled as intolerant or bigoted, yet ironically, those who claim to be the most tolerant are the least tolerant of the Christian worldview. The truth is that what may be politically correct is so often biblically incorrect.The open-mindedness adopted by the world leaves no room for Christian convictions and the Bible's standards of right and wrong who believe they “must obey God rather than human beings!” (Act 5:29). In a sinful world that hated Christ, this will naturally lead to some conflict, for a Christian’s convictions do not allow approval of sin whatsoever. We must never tolerate anything that would be harmful to our personal and family values, or which threatens our physical, moral and spiritual health.

When an area of conflict arises we should prayerfully examine our convictions to make sure they are based on what the Bible actually says, rather than personal preferences. We should commit to loving those who hold a different view and do good to them “with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” bearing with and showing forgiveness (Mt 5:38-48; Col 3:12-14). At all times we must demonstrate Christ’s love and righteousness.  

We can’t be fully effective and come into our full inheritance while tolerating something that is not of God so “get rid of such things from your life” (Gal 3:30). It is wrong to tolerate wrong and injustice when you can do something about it.  What sins and ungodly practices am I tolerating in my life that I need to confront and deal with so I can move forward with increased devotion?

The ability to overlook the faults and certain misdemeanours of others, including personal insults, is admirable but can be taken advantage of so there needs to be high standards of conduct, even in church settings, with accountability and confronting if necessary.

See also: compromise, conflict, consideration, conviction (1), patience, truth, understand/understanding, world-view.


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