Love and Tolerance


Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

You can love someone and still disagree with their choices.

In fact, if you disagree with someone you must love them enough to want the best for them, even if it brings you into conflict with them.  If you truly believe someone’s actions are harmful, avoiding conflict in the name of tolerance isn’t love, it’s hate.

Here’s the thing, though.  Love is patient.  Love is not arrogant.  It does not get fatally frustrated when someone doesn’t come around right away to our point of view, and it does not assume that our point of view is always right.  Love is humble and seeks the truth, and the greatest truth is found in alignment with God’s Word.

You can love someone but not condone their actions.  You can care about someone and not support their lifestyle.  In fact, that’s exactly what Jesus did.  He was called a “friend of sinners.”  Why?  Because He was patient and kind, not boastful or arrogant or self-righteous in how he related to those whom He knew were outside of the truth.  At the same time, he wasn’t afraid to let people know when their actions didn’t line up with God’s standard.

Most of the time, it’s not what you say that has the most impact, but how you say it.  It’s not what you believe, but how you display it.

May we not love others so little that we abandon them to sin in the name of tolerance, and may we not love ourselves so much that we forget how sinful we were (and still are), too.


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