Tolerance vs Prejudice
This is WEEK 46 of the Character Development Series I am doing for 2012. So glad you stopped by!
Prejudice is a learned trait. You’re not born prejudiced; you’re taught it. –Charles R. Swindoll
In examining the evidence of the Christian religion, it is essential to the discovery of truth that we bring to the investigation a mind freed, as far as possible, from existing prejudice, and open to conviction. -Simon Greenleaf
If people are informed they will do the right thing. It’s when they are not informed that they become hostages to prejudice. -Charlayne Hunter-Gault
1. The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others.
2. Leeway for variation from a standard.
Synonyms for Tolerance: forbearance, grace, clemency, understanding
Antonyms for Tolerance: bias, disapproval, bigotry, prejudice
What The Bible Says About Tolerance:
Acts 10:28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.
Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Romans 6:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Examples From The Bible:
Luke 10: The Parable of The Good Samaritan
John 4: Jesus talks with a Samaritan woman
Acts 10: God reveals to Peter that it is time to accept the Gentiles into the family of God.
The Example of Jesus To Us:
John 8:7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Romans 14: 1-4 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.”
Personal Thoughts And Application:
Tolerance is a controversial word in modern society. The secular world, humanists, and socialists try to point fingers at Christians for being intolerant. In fact, we may see a day when Christians are persecuted under Hate Law legislation in the USA just for voicing a disagreement with certain morals and lifestyles. By nature, however, a Christian must adhere to standards that reflect the teachings and the example of Christ. What that means is that Christians are to love ALL men but it does not mean that Christians accept and condone all lifestyle choices or blatant rebellious sin. Even Christ was criticized for going to the homes and eating with people who the religious sects of that day considered to be unworthy sinners. His public presence among them did not mean a compromise of his morals, but a willingness to humble himself and to seek the lost where they were. Jesus set the ultimate example of how to love the sinner, yet hate the sin and how to be IN the world but not OF the world. We are to pray for our enemies, and do good to them, but not pretend that wrongdoing is ok. Jesus reached sinners by convincing them of His love, and then they wanted to adhere to his morals and standards. I haven’t seen harsh judgemental “holier than thou” condemnation win many souls. Remember that you too are a sinner that would be hopelessly lost without the grace of God, and extend that grace to others who are struggling or do not share your beliefs. That, my friend, is true Christian tolerance.
PRAYER FOR YOU: May you look past your own prejudices to reach out to others in love and good will. May you learn to focus on loving a person yet not compromise your tolerance for sin and the discord and heart ache that it brings. May you see in others the struggle that is common to us all, and realize that God is the common need we each have no matter what our differences may be.
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