Tolerance is often misunderstood.
Tolerance does not mean acceptance of someone else’s views, beliefs, or actions. Tolerance means we listen, hear, and try to understand; it means we respect an individual’s right to their own opinions and points of view — it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t face, rebuke, or disagree with the person. As Christians, we must do this in love. We can tolerate wrong-thinking, but still point out the truth in a Christ-like manner. Jesus often confronted others, especially His disciples and the religious leaders of the time. He stood up for His beliefs and attempted to guide through His parables and teachings to attempt to offer clarity, and to help others see the “RIGHT WAY.”
Unfortunately, there were stubborn people listening who were not really hearing Jesus; their hearts could not hear or see; their minds were made up and were closed and locked against the teachings of Jesus Christ; Jesus knew this. He knew that there would always be those who defiantly refused to grow and learn what He was trying to teach; this is the same now in our world today.
I tend to get frustrated with those who refuse to recognize the teachings of Jesus Christ within the very bible they claim they believe in. They want to argue, not think on Christ’s teachings deeply and allow their heart to grow into Christ and what He wants from each one of us in our daily living experience. There comes a point that I have to accept someone’s refusal to hear me and just accept that they are not yet where He wants them to be. I plant a seed and then must move forward, hoping that they will catch on and catch up in His time, not mine. I try to keep loving and keep praying for whomever it is. I tolerate, but I never really give up and never stop being willing to be used by God to show His ways, which are clearly in the bible we claim we believe.
People love to throw around bible verses and preach scripture, but are they actually grasping the gist of the bible’s message? Is the bigger picture being understood? It would seem not. Christians today do not understand the simple words “love thy enemies,” or “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Many Christians in this world we live in today want bloodlust, death, and war just like those within the world we live in but are not to be a part of. These “followers of Christ” seem to want to arm everyone with guns and fight things out like in the old West, like cowboys and Indians. Jesus didn’t preach this. Jesus did not advocate violence, killing, and murder.
Jesus was not of this world; we are not to be either if we are truly born again. Our hearts can change. Compassion, mercy, and love can actually reign, as they did in the life Jesus led. Anger, hatred, fear, suspicion, and ignorance are not godly traits; these are not the fruits of the spirit.