Love Does Not Mean Toleration
We’ve become an extremely tolerant world as of late. We accept what’s on television, on the radio, and in movies. We allow each other extreme amounts of bad behavior and chalk it up to human failings. And we also do the same for ourselves. We tolerate EVERYTHING. And then we mistakenly liken this tolerance to Christ’s love. We think when we tolerate, we love our neighbor, as God loves us. But this is missing the mark entirely. Although Jesus’ death on the cross indeed covers sin, Jesus also commands repentance. The beauty of the Gospel is not that we get to sin freely, but that we are free to sin no more.
But here’s the thing. When I say not to tolerate sin, I don’t mean not to pardon or feel compassion for the sinner. We too often dismiss the person because of the sin, and again, miss the mark entirely. Jesus commands us to love one another. John 13: 34-35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”
This love is the only way others will genuinely know that you are a disciple of the Lord. So, even as you turn away from sin, you cannot turn away from the one who sins. Love is the forgiveness of sins, but it is also the mentorship and the support of pointing the sinner toward something better, toward God.
Therefore, remember first, to love thy neighbor, and second to bear witness with only the intent of love.
“A NEW COMMAND I GIVE YOU: LOVE ONE ANOTHER. AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, SO YOU MUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER. BY THIS EVERYONE WILL KNOW THAT YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES, IF YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER.”