Tolerance

2020-01-26

Tolerance

 

“I have learned that very often the most intolerant and narrow minded people are the ones who congratulate themselves on their tolerance and open mindedness.” – Christopher Hitchens

(When you refuse to see the error of your ways)

 

“Tolerance is the oil which takes the friction out of life.” – Wilbert E. Scheer

(It makes life run smoother)

 

Tolerance: The ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviours that one dislikes or disagrees with.

 

God’s word has much to say about our tolerance

Beginning with Romans chapter 13; Paul has been talking about how we should relate to the believers around us. Then he writes:

 

Romans 15:1-7 (NIV) – We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please our neighbours for their good, to build them up. 3For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. 5May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind towards each other that Christ Jesus had, 6so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7Accept one another, them just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

 

Here we learn that we are to have a spirit of tolerance towards our brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

Have you noticed we are different (Everybody is normal till you get to know them...)

 

Yet it’s our very differences that make the church possible. (Imagine if we were all exactly the same)

 

God trust us enough to build His Kingdom with all our differences.

 

There is a lot of talk in the world today about tolerance

What they mean is: We are to affirm other people regardless of what they do in life.

 

For instance if a person is openly homosexual then the rest of the world is supposed to honour that person and encourage their life style – This is what they mean by tolerance.

 

There are some things we just can’t tolerate.

 

What I’m talking about is an attitude within the church that accepts the personal differences of our brothers and sisters

 

Loving one another even if we disagree.

 

The duty of Tolerance  -

 

Romans 15:1-2 (NIV) – We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please our neighbours for their good, to build them up.

 

Paul is talking about the weaker Christians

The one who needs rules to keep him straight

The one who points fingers at what other are doing

 

There’s a contrast between the mature Christian and the one that has not reached that level of maturity yet.

 

Hebrews 5:11-12 (NIV)11We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!

 

He says to the stronger Christian – “We ought to bear the failing of the weak.”

 

The word “ought” (behoort) is an obligation, we have a duty.

 

To effectively do it we will have to do as Paul says in these first two verses

 

Romans 15:1-2 (NIV) – We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please our neighbours for their good, to build them up.

 

The word “Bear” is important; the same word is used in John 19:17 – “Jesus bearing His cross.”

 

Galatians 6:2 (KJV) – Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

 

The whole idea is one of self-denial and self-sacrifice.

 

The problem is we live in a world where Christians are so self-centred and only interested in pleasing themselves “There’s little tolerance for others.”

 

Paul says we must live a constructive life – “We are to please our neighbour.”

 

He’s not saying we must be people pleasers (You can’t please everybody)

 

The kind of life we live in the presents of others either has the power to build up or to tear down.

 

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

 

Jesus set the example for us to follow:

 

Romans 15:3 (NIV)3For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”

 

1 Peter 2:21 (NIV) – To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.

 

Romans 15:4 (NIV)4For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

 

This life will discourage us –

A discouraged person is more likely to be in-tolerant with others (Triple “C”)

 

We need to study Gods word to avoid discouragement, so that we can know how to treat others.

 

Romans 15:5-7 (NIV)5May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind towards each other that Christ Jesus had, 6so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7Accept one another, then just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

 

Paul uses a word four times – This one word is the secret of a great church.

It is what makes a church a powerful church to God’s glory.

 

It’s found in this little word “ONE” what makes a great Church? “UNITY” (Unity is developed in an atmosphere of tolerance.)

 

When we can come to that place where we can apply the fruit of the spirit to one another Inspite of our differences

 

The fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22

Notice how most of the fruit we have is to serve others.....

Love, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Peace, Faithfulness... (6 of the 9)

 

1 Corinthians 1:10 (NIV) – I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

 

The question is how tolerant are you of your brothers and sisters?

 

If you really want to grow and be a useful instrument in God’s hands – you will have to check your tolerance level...

 

Philemon 1: 5&7 (Amp)5Because I hear of your love and of your faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints (God’s people).

 

7For I have had great joy and comfort and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints (God’s people) have been refreshed through you, my brother.

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