“Should a Christian – a believing woman (or man), be tolerant?“
That’s a question that has plagued me for well over 12 months or longer. Plagued because I realize that I am becoming less and less tolerant the more ‘vintage’ I become. Some would say “chalk it up to advancing years”.
Others would chide me that PAPA loves us all and may even “wink and nod” at our peculiarities which are borderline characteristics of our Lord – or characteristics they assume He would have.
Others would like me to believe that I’m returning to a former critical nature which PAPA dealt with years ago. And I have to admit that I have agonized a bit in spirit because I wondered if I was indeed returning to such a way of looking at the world – and others.
Then I ran across a post yesterday attributed to Judge Andrew Napolitano. It resonated. It also explains something of my own journey over the past 12 or so months; as well as the journey of other committed believers. So there must be something of the truth therein.
“Intolerance is not the greatest sin, in fact it can be an incredible benefit to society.Tolerance of all things is weakness. The bible puts it best ‘But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” [Bold emphasis mine]. Napolitano then goes on to list the things of which he is intolerant, i.e. “tyranny, political correctness, deception, people who preach tolerance, but are intolerant of those who disagree, pedophila and human trafficking, state sponsored terrorism, those who seek to destroy our constitution, and “Oh and as a father, I am intolerant of anatomical boys being allowed in girls locker rooms and bathrooms.” (Judge Andrew Napolitano on Facebook).
His final two statements struck a chord in my spirit: “I am intolerant because I have principles.” And, “If you stand for nothing you will fall for anything” [Emphasis mine].
There is another Scriptural admonition – that PAPA’s judgment begins with His own house – the church. Each of us who believes is an individual “church”. And as individuals within the body; we make up the church-at-large. Thus PAPA begins by cleaning up His own. Scripture says He is a “jealous God”. He doesn’t want anything that competes with Him or would dirty-up those who make up His body of believers.
Part of my dilemma with regard to tolerance or intolerance, is the plight of the prophet. Those of us for whom our primary motivational gift of the Spirit is the prophetic – or seeker of truth. The “down” side of the gift is that we can be very judgmental – all black or white with no gray at all. Peter is the disciple most associated with that of the prophetic motivational gift.
And most folks of the prophetic gift tend to be very discerning which adds an extra layer of weight to the question of how tolerant believers ought be. For sometimes the discernment of the prophetic person runs counter to the viewpoint of most other Christians who tend to see only what’s on the surface. Here’s some thoughts I have on the subject and you can take them for what they are worth. And if they make sense to you. . .
1. PAPA God is tolerant of me as a person – a woman. He loves the me that is me at the core. But He’s never been tolerant of that in me which needed to be cleansed by His spirit. Once I said okay to transformation at the behest of the cross; He took no time beginning the process. That which was top priority junk went first; then the next and the next and the next. That meant a natural critical nature had to go in order to reveal a gift of discernment He chose for me.
2. As we mature in the transformation process; He’ll give us deeper insight and greater revelation about His nature and the nature of His Son – the Person whose character we are to become. And He’ll give us deeper discernment into our own nature as we are becoming more of who He intends us to be.
3. He will reveal our own motivational gift of the Spirit, shape and form it so that we learn to use it on behalf of others. Most especially those who are of His own household! If our gift is that of the discerning prophet; then surely He’ll expect us to use it to the benefit of other believer’s first!
You may say “So what? What does any of this have to do with whether as a believer I must be tolerant – or not?” It has everything because over the centuries we’ve been taught that “love” is more eros than agape.
We fail to recognize that PAPA’s Love has discipline as its backbone. Discipline because He loves us. Any parent worth her or his salt knows this almost instinctively! We discipline our children because we love them and want the best for them. Therefore, we are not tolerant of attitudes and behaviors that will not fare-them-well in life!
And PAPA God is not tolerant of the same in us. Nor do I think He expects me to be tolerant of that which is not of Him and does not serve the needs of His household. So I am intolerant of much the same things as Judge Napolitano. But I’m also intolerant of bigotry, arrogance and selfishness. I’m intolerant of false humility – the ultimate form of pride.
I’m intolerant of the inauthentic and that which causes others to hide behind anything but who they are. I’m especially intolerant of false teaching that misleads the household – and that includes so-called Christian leaders who fleece the flock while lining their own pockets.
I’m intolerant of that in me that would keep me from becoming all He has in store for me. For you see, intolerance works both ways. That which is outside of me that is not of Him. And that which is inside me and gets in the way of Him.
So my question for each of you today is – are you tolerant? Do you think you must be so? Or do you know there are things without and within for which tolerance will permit you to fall for almost anything?
And what, if anything, do you intend to do about it?
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner & CEO
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://neighborhoodboutiques.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/linda-google-NB-profile-pic.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]I have a ‘fiery’ passion to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and most of all – spiritually. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]