If there was anyone who know what tolerance was, it was Jesus. Look at the way he related to those around him:
The disciples could get a bit trying at times, but Jesus Christ was tolerant towards them. Peter was somewhat of a bragger. James and John could be a bit mean spirited at times. Philip was slow of thought. Thomas was a doubter, but Jesus was tolerant.
With tolerance Christ was merciful and forgiving. And just as important, Jesus didn’t just leave these men as they were. Instead, He filled them with the power to change. And to make sure they would continue in their victory over their weaknesses He blessed them with the Holy Spirit.
Just as Jesus was tolerant, we need to be tolerant of others as well. You can probably think of kids at school who do things a little different. Perhaps they dress different, talk different, and maybe even act different. Do you show tolerance towards them? You can if you allow God to help you. With His help you can see them through the loving eyes of God. With His help you can show them the kindness of Jesus.
We shouldn’t look down on other people, but He has loved us all the same in Jesus. Galatians 3:28, NKJV. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
God doesn’t show favoritism to anyone – no person is better than someone else. Acts 10:34, NIV. “Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”
Don’t judge a book by its cover. We never know the full story. If we show mercy, we will be shown mercy. Matthew 7:1, NKJV. “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Although we are tolerant of people’s personalities and situations, that doesn’t mean we join them in their wrong doing. Psalms 1:1-2, NKJV. Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.”
We need to share what is right, but do it with patience, and tolerance. 2 Timothy 4:2, NIV. “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”
We are called to love each other, be patient, and compassionate with each other. 1 Peter 3:8, NKJV. “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous”
We are to be lights to world to lead people from darkness. To do that, we have to associate/be involved with them. But while we associate with them, we help people understand what is right and wrong by shining for Jesus. Matthew 5:14-16, NKJV. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
God’s love tolerates us in our weaknesses and sins. John 3:16, NKJV. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And He sent Jesus to lift us up out of our sins into everlasting life.
Jesus came to earth with a message of mercy and forgiveness, for everyone no matter what country they are from, how much money they have, how old they are, or whether they are a girl or boy. We all need Jesus, and Jesus never gives up on anyone. In each and every one of us, He sees chance to change and become better. God accepts everyone just as they are and tolerates their weaknesses. But God doesn’t leave us weak, the way we are. Instead, through Christ, He makes us strong to live the right life, filled with the power of the Spirit.