Of Tolerance and Love

John 4:9   (KJV)   9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

We have our own uniqueness as believers. There are things we do very differently: unexpected actions; uncommon ways. We love everyone, care for everyone, and desire John 4.9 - Of Tolerance and Loveeveryone to be saved. We’re not called to just tolerate; we’re called to love everyone.

A discriminating Christian is a contradiction. Looking down on others for so many reasons is the way of the world—even of the most ardent activists against discrimination. It seems like the prevalent attitude is: “Don’t discriminate against us, but we’ll discriminate against anyone who disagrees with us.” Not so with believers.

We love everyone: men, women, young, old, brown, yellow, black, white, rich, poor, theists, atheists, Republicans, Democrats, believers, unbelievers, and the differences go on—ad infinitum. Not everyone shares the same conviction. There are those who overtly and proudly wear their badge of discrimination. Then there are those who zealously march for tolerance while having no problem zealously silencing and violently attacking those who share a different view.

As God’s very own unique people, we are hated, but even then, our call doesn’t change: we love everyone—even those who hate us, even our enemies. We are surprising to many people. It doesn’t matter how much others try to paint a very dark picture of us, we just keep on shining. And the darker things get, our lights just shine more brightly.

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Passion for God

James 4.5 - God, Heart, Bible3James 4:5   (KJV)   5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

We take God’s Word seriously; it’s the lamp of our feet, the light of our path. It shows us what to believe and what not to believe, how to behave and how not to behave. We meditate on it—day and night; the works of our hands prosper as a result. It tells us to be faithful to God—to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. God is a jealous God, and He wants our spirits to be intimate with Him, to be passionately in love with Him.

God’s Word shows us the faithful who have walked before us. We follow their footsteps. There’s always a fork in the road in front of us; we don’t struggle; we’re not confused; our spirits are sure; we’re single-minded and focused. We choose God. We’re committed; we’re devoted to Him. True, not everyone chooses to walk the same path; we have loved ones who choose to walk the broad way and enter the wide gate; we see the devastating consequences of their choices. We won’t trade life in the Son. It’s the greatest life there is. That’s why we turned from ungodliness and turned to God; that’s why we choose God; that’s why we lovingly, wisely, gently, boldly reach out to others.

God’s Word is very clear in many of its instructions; we wholeheartedly submit to its authority and walk in obedience.  Some of them may not be as clear; we live out our conviction while lovingly disagreeing with those who don’t see them the same way; no, we don’t desire evil or advocate violence against them; those who do proves that they’re not Christians even if they claim they are. We know Christians by their fruit; the foremost of it is love. This doesn’t mean we agree with everything everyone else believes and approves everything everyone else does. We love God; we follow Him; we honor Him, His will, His Word. We’re steadfast in the Truth, and we love everyone despite all our differences; we love others though they treat us as enemies. This is a heart consumed by love for the Master. Oh such wonder, such beauty.