Given the rising frustration, dissatisfaction, and angst, that I see in the news and on social media regarding the upcoming election, Black Lives Matter, ISIS, the 2nd Amendment, and co-ed bathrooms, I thought it would be timely to call attention to the fact that no matter what side you currently favor on these issues, if you are a Christian God, does not want you to be tolerant. He wants you to be gracious. What’s the difference you ask?
Tolerance says, “I can ignore what you do.”
Grace says, “I will love you despite what you do.”
Tolerance says, “I am willing to not fight with you even though we disagree.”
Grace says, “I am willing to love you even though we disagree.”
Tolerance says, “I will leave you alone if you leave me alone.”
Grace says, “I will love you even when you hurt me.”
Tolerance says, “I will support you because I should.”
Grace says, “I will support you because I love you.”
Tolerance says, “I will give to you what I feel comfortable giving.”
Grace says, “I will give to you even when it hurts.”
Tolerance says, “I will show you respect out of duty.”
Grace says, “I will respect you out of love.”
Tolerance says, “I will do good to you and expect you to do the same for me.”
Grace says, “I will do good to you, whether you do good to me or not.”
Tolerance says, “If you go away that is your choice, I’ll be right here.”
Grace says, “If you go away, I will look for you until you are found.”
Here is the bottom line: If what you say isn’t full of grace, what you say is not righteous, no matter how right you may be.
What you say in you article concerning tolerance and grace is true in theory, but often not practical in the real world. How does full of grace plays itself out when your home invaded by two murderous thugs willing to kill you and your family? If you have your thirty-eight revolver and can defend your family, what would you do? He who calls us is no fool, and he does not expect us to be one?
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Thank you for your comment. You are correct, grace is not often practical. Grace is never practical. It is always impractical! Grace is never going to be the easy or convenient choice. It is too costly.
To respond to your example, I would say that the situation you bring up is not really in line with what I am talking about in this post, which is how people talk to and treat each other who have different convictions on issues such as the upcoming election. There is a world of difference between that and responding to a murderous thug who is willing to kill you and your family.
That said, Jesus was pretty broad and blunt, when He said “Love your enemies” in Matthew 5:34. There are no loopholes, exceptions, or small print in that passage. I realize that such situations may come up in life where the use of deadly force is necessary, as in the one you hypothesized.
But inconvenience does not negate the truth that grace is how God wants us to respond to people. John says that the reason he and the other disciples recognized that Jesus was the Son of God was because, like the Father, He was full of grace and truth (John 1:14). If we want to be His disciples we need to be striving to conduct ourselves in God’s truth, and respond to others in God’s grace. That is what love is: grace + truth = love.
Very good response indeed!
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Thank you! And thanks again for sharing your thoughts.