We live in crazy times when the word “tolerance” has actually stirred more hate than anything else. There is so much hate in our world. There are more school shootings, man-made disasters, riots, and opinions than ever before. It’s easy to turn on a news channel and allow yourself to become consumed with fear and anxiety.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
I’ve often wondered why Miley Cyrus has been able to remain wanted by the public. I’ve wondered why people think that #blacklivesmatter is a good idea or why parades in honor of gays is a good idea. I’ve wandered why someone heavily on drugs can become pregnant with no problem over and over again while my sweet friends and even myself struggle to make a baby. I wonder why this world pickets in favor of Planned Parenthood when there are so many wonderful places who can give women care and save babies. I wonder what it is that causes us all to stand against each other why #AllLivesMatter hasn’t taken over the social media world we live in. Jesus died for #AllLivesMatter. Jesus died for you and he died for me. His grace is for you and for me. His forgiveness is for the Chinese, the Mexican, the Black, the African, the Samoan, the Guatemalan, the gay, the Muslim, the Buddhist, the white, the woman, the man, the abortionist, the prostitute, the homeless, the stockbroker, the nurse, the NFL player, the movie star, the farmer, the ____. Jesus died for #AllLivesMatter. Every soul has a decision, a choice, and a chance to receive that grace, live by faith, turn from a life of sin and move forward in the blessings of our great God. Color doesn’t matter and even lifestyles don’t matter. God does the work in the heart. He says “Come as you are”… #AllLivesMatter.
A friend of mine and I were talking yesterday about teaching our children the difference between obedience and compliance. There’s a difference in the heart. Obedience is trusting and obeying your parent, your boss, your leader… God. The other says in his heart “I hate this and I don’t know why I have to do this, but I’m going to do it to please you”. People pleasing is not the same as obedience. In fact, people pleasing leaves everyone drained with a bad attitude and it festers despise and hate towards the job at hand or the people involved. obedience is done with a joyful heart.
There is also a heart difference between tolerance and love. I can tolerate someone I don’t care to be around. I can tolerate them being in the same room as me as long as they don’t ruffle my feathers. I don’t like them, I don’t like what they stand for, I don’t like the words that spew from their lips, I don’t really want to be around them, but if I must, I will tolerate them long enough to do what needs to be done and then leave.
Tolerance. Is this really what you want from the world around you or from the people you want in your life? You want them to tolerate you? Is this really what would bring peace? Would this truly bring joy? Is this honestly the message we want to spread to others and the one we want to teach our children?
Love says, give me a hug, I’m your friend. I want to talk to you, I want to know you and know your heart. I want to hear you and let you cry on my shoulder. Let me help you. Let me share what has helped me. Allow me to make a difference in your life whether in this fleeting moment, for a season, or for a lifetime.
We wonder why “give peace a chance” has actually become more like Biff’s world from Back to the Future part 3. It’s because of Tolerance. We cry for tolerance, but what we all truly want is love. You see, tolerance has been around forever, this isn’t a new thing, it’s what we’ve lived with forever. Very few people have decided not to tolerate others and when they do they simply stay away. The truth is, love is the answer and love is the way.
I told the kids that we all sin and we all fall short. I’ve told them that we also always have a choice. We can give into a sinful life and we can say yes to temptations. We can always choose another path because God himself has given us a free will. I’ve told them they can always come to us with a problem or a question or even with their mistakes. No matter how the conversation goes, we will always point them to Jesus. What would Jesus say? What would Jesus do?
So, today and everyday that I write, I will point you to Jesus as well. We need love not tolerance and I have great news.
1 John 4:7-10New King James Version (NKJV)
Knowing God Through Love
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Just like we can’t make others come to Christ, the world can not make us love them. We can not make the world love us. Love must come first, from those of us who claim Jesus as our Lord because He is love! When we love, perhaps we can change the world. When we give a hug, hand out clothes, create gifts for women and families, serve food to homeless, adopt a child, give to a family who is adopting, and most importantly, share Jesus, we can change the world one heart at a time.
Show love. Spread love everywhere you go.
Father, I ask you to first change my own heart. I need to understand the true meaning of love in you so that I can give it to others. Deliver us all from tolerance, conformity, and disobedience. Give me a pure heart that longs to walk in your ways allowing you to shine through me. Thank you Lord that you will never leave us or forsake us in such a time as this. Help us all to become more like you and less like the world. Give us an unquenching desire to change the world for you. Help us love like you do. Amen.