Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tolerance

Over the course of the last few months, I have found myself in several conversations with the same underlying subject: tolerance.

I find it interesting that so many have come to see tolerance as a loaded, ugly word, a compromise to their morals, ethics or faith.

I just don't see it that way.

I tolerate people every single day.

I put up with my children when their behavior is bad. I put up with my husband when he has had a bad day and gets agitated by every little thing the kids do or don't do. I put up with people who are sports fanatics, while I do not enjoy sports all that much. I tolerate parents who make different decisions than I would in parenting their children. I put up with whatever music our church is singing that particular week, even if it isn't exactly what I would have chosen. I put up with the irritating lady in line at Starbucks who had twenty minutes to figure out what she wanted but is now at the front, holding up the line, slowly perusing the menu. For the love.

I tolerate differences in politics and faith, too.

None of that means I have to enjoy, embrace, or agree with our differences. It just means that I have enough respect for another human being that I can refrain from being ugly, hateful and divisive. It also means I can not shove that irritating lady out of the way so I can get my coffee before I turn fifty.

To take this a little further, I disagree in many areas with people who share my faith. There are some pastors, speakers, authors and musicians out there that drive me bonkers. Like Mark Driscoll, who I find crude, or Douglas Wilson, who I think is borderline misogynistic and hyper-patriarchal, or authors Mike and Debi Pearl who write parenting books that make me cringe.

And I have a lot of friends who just love these guys. They quote them, talk about them, read their books and post all about them on facebook. I tolerate that too.

Granted, occasionally when I think something is waaaaay out there, I might say something, trying to be as gentle as possible. But at the end of the day, if we don't see eye-to-eye, I am not going to accuse my friends of being less committed to their faith than I am, tell them that they are stupid for coming to a different conclusion from mine, or say that I simply can not associate with them because we can not agree on every point.

Yes, I have actually had this happen to me. This week.

I wonder sometimes if the reason why we feel we need to correct everyone, the reason we get so angry about the things we disagree with, is that we have some insecurities ourselves?

I don't know. I'm no shrink. But what I do know is that we need not fear our differences. We do not have to agree on everything, but we should not confuse listening and trying to understand another person's heart with compromise and defeat. And I believe we should listen in order to understand, not just in order to reply.

I believe we ought to treat others, whatever their views are, in the same way we would like to be treated.

We all have our own point of view and many of us want to share it with the world. There is nothing wrong with that. A lot of my friends disagree with me strongly in regard to politics, non-violence, and faith. I have a couple of friends who think I am going off the deep end while, ironically, I feel I am becoming closer and more in tune with the heart of Jesus than ever before.

My wish is for us all to be able to disagree well. To treat one another with respect and kindness, even when we stand as polar opposites on issues. I wish there was a good word for what I mean. Oh yeah, there is:

TOLERANCE. :)

In love,
amy danielle




2 comments:

  1. Thank you, Amy, for your always grace.

    It astounds me that Jesus loves everyone, even the religious folks with whom he seemed most exasperated. I can't even fathom loving the in-front-of-me-at-Starbucks lady some days, or the abusive parent down the street, or the gay-bashing preacher on my TV, especially when I realize that Jesus does more than merely tolerate them.

    And I think sometimes we get caught up in thinking that tough love looks a lot like hate (it doesn't) or that tolerating something by seeking to understand and come to a loving place is the same as compromising our faith. You know how I feel about it but let me just echo a big, fat yes to all of this, dear friend.

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  2. HELLO to my friends out there i am testifying about the good work of a man who help me it has been hell from the day my husband left me i am a woman with two kids my problem stated when the father of my kids travel i never help he was living but as at two weeks i did not set my eye on my husband i try calling but he was not taken my call some week he call me telling me that he has found love some where easy at first i never take to be serous but day after he came to the house to pick his things that was the time i notice that things is going bad i help he will come back but things was going bad day by day i needed to talk to someone about it so i went to his friend but there was no help so i give it up on him month later i met on the the internet a spell caster i never believe on this but i needed my men back so i gave the spell caster my problem at first i never trusted him so i was just doing it for doing sake but after three day my husband called me telling me that he his coming home i still do not believe but as at the six day the father to my kids came to the house asking me to for give him the spell work to said to my self from that day i was happy with my family thanks to the esango priest of (abamieghe)esango priest he his a great man you need to try him you can as well to tell him your problem so that he can be of help to you his content email is this esangopriest@gmail.com indeed you are a priest thank you for making my home a happy home again. remember his email is esangopriest@gmail.com

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