This morning kitchen staff member Andy Harrison led our thoughts around the flagpole and introduced us to today’s theme: God Fits My Tolerance. To tolerate is to endure; to bear one another. God’s definition of tolerance is not always the same as society’s definition of tolerance. A standard is a bar to compare ourselves to, and God’s standard is whole and complete, just like a yardstick is a standard by which measurement is defined. Man’s standard does not always measure up to God’s standard. When we encounter persecution from the world for measuring ourselves up to God’s standard, it is always addressing the deviation from a standard.
As servants of God, He has expectations for each of us. When we think of tolerance, we are not to tolerate sin. In fact, we should HATE sin! I Timothy 6:3-5 tells us that we should withdraw ourselves from pride, strife, envy, railings, evil, perverse disputes, and ungodliness. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he mediatate day and night” (Psalm 1:1,2). II John 10,11 warns us not to abide with ungodliness.
We may be persecuted if we aren’t tolerant as the world defines tolerance. We may be labeled intolerant, self-righteous, Bible thumpers, but we must endure! Ephesians 4:1-6 tells us that we must tolerate one another with love, godly love. “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it” (I Peter 3:8-11). Paul warns Timothy in II Timothy 4:1-5 to “watch thou in all things, endure afflictions.”
Andy left us with four points to be mindful of when it comes to tolerance:
1. God is holy –> He calls us to be holy
2. God’s standard must rule –> We are to teach others in love
3. We are not to abide in sin –> We are to have patience
4. God tolerates us –> We must tolerate each other