What is tolerance?

According to dictionary.com tolerance is a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion,nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.

Tolerance is overrated. The facts about tolerance are as follows:

1. A decision is made to dislike what a person stands for

2. A mental choice is made to accept that person regardless of the fact of ones own beliefs (tolerance)

3. Tolerance allows the person to continue believing they are right

I did a search for the words ‘tolerant’ and ‘tolerance’ at biblegateway.com in the King James Version, New King James Version, and New International Version bibles and the following message appears each time:

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The bible does not speak about tolerance.

Tolerance is a lazy word. It is the easy way out. Tolerance is fear. It causes people to stay at the surface of their issues and hold on to a belief system that may not be accurate, loving, or peaceful.

In order to have tolerance judgement has to occur. Who are we to judge another person just because their belief system differs? Anyone who says they are tolerant of another is judging in the quickest form. Isn’t is sad how quick we are to judge? It literally takes seconds, just a snap of the finger. It is not our job to judge others by what they do or who they are.  If a person feels that they have a need to be tolerant of another person the question a person should ask themselves is. “What is the underlying cause of my need to be tolerant of this person and what can I do to change this need for tolerance?” Do not fear change.

A person is not freeing themselves from bigotry because they choose to be tolerant. Tolerance is a symptom of bigotry, not the solution.  Even with a drug addiction tolerance is bad. Tolerance is not peaceful. It separates people. Honestly, does anyone like being tolerated? NO. Why would we want to tolerate others when we don’t like it ourselves? Has anyone ever felt a loving and peaceful feeling, in the heart, when tolerating someone or are we rolling our eyes in the midst of tolerance because we think we are right?

When an apple falls from the tree is the dirt tolerant of the apple? No, the dirt accepts the apple fully, loves the apple, then absorbs the apple into itself for nourishment. Someone you may feel the need to be tolerant towards may be the person you need to learn the greatest lessons from. Let them in and be nourished.

Do a search for the words ‘love’ and ‘peace’ at biblegateway.com in the King James Version, New King James Version, and New International Version bibles and there are more than 400 results in each of the versions. Here is an example:

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

So, what is the answer? It’s peace and love. We have to reach deep inside our hearts and evaluate ourselves. Find out why we have trouble loving everyone. Then, re-program our thinking. We must let go of the fear and allow ourselves to love. Love brings people together. We are human and it’s easier said than done. That’s understandable. Trying to make changes eventually leads to change.

To be a Good Spark involves using your inner power of love by setting aside all differences and choosing to love the Good Spark in others. I’m asking everyone to stop the judging, drop the word tolerance from their vocabulary, and choose to be a Good Spark and replace tolerance with peace and love.