Tolerance & Patience Are Not The Same

“Jean, that’s mighty gray.”

My dad said something like that to me one time when I asked him if something was right or wrong.

I always wanted to sort things out. Is it right? Is it wrong? It cannot be both. It’s either black or white. Over the years, I have come to realize that if it is gray, it’s not right.

Have you ever noticed that Christians are expected to be tolerant of others? We’ve been sold on this whole idea of tolerance and acceptance. Did it ever occur to you that often this “tolerance” that is expected moves you from where you need to be? It lowers your standards in an effort to reach out to others.

We don’t have to accept sins as right in order to reach out and reach others. We are not called to be like the world. Yes, we need to have patience when we reach out.

But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
Psalms 86:15

God has patience with us, but nowhere in God’s Word does He change His standards as He extends us that patience. Why do we do that? What makes us think that as we become more like the world and abandon truth that we will bring them to Christ?

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:6

Jesus is the truth. We need to reach out in truth. When you change who you are to make someone else feel better about themselves, you haven’t been true to God or yourself. When you lower your standards, you lower the bar. It really does them a disservice. You have not shown them the truth either.

If you think we have become a society of mediocrity, it’s come about because we have lowered the bar because of tolerance. We always need to love the sinner, but we need to return to hating the sin.

Is lowering our standards a sin? I will let you decide.

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
Colossians 3:22-25

When you lower your standards are you doing all things as unto the Lord? Are you doing things that are just out and out wrong? Maybe you see them as gray.

LIFE APPLICATION

Today’s challenge is to ask yourself where you have lowered your standards for yourself because you thought you would be helping someone else. Ask God to show you how to help those people by raising your standards and encouraging them to do the same. The approach is one of love not judgment.

Remember, we are not to look like the world or behave like the world. We need to be the example. We need to raise the bar for all! Let’s leave mediocrity behind us.

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