Grace Not Tolerance

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. – John 14:27

The world’s method of achieving peace is to be more tolerant. If we can only eradicate intolerance everything we be great. Many suggest tolerance is the answer to the world’s biggest issues such as achieving world peace. But tolerance does not solve the root problem. It is a band-aid solution at best. The problem is humanity’s sin nature.

Why Tolerance is Not the Solution

Tolerance says, “Be passive about sin.” Everyone gets to decide for themselves what is sin, and what isn’t. No rules of the road to follow, no truth to follow, and no final authority. All options are valid. The end result, more sin.

We can’t fix sin with more tolerance. We can’t bring world peace to a sinful world through more tolerance. Even in a tolerance-based society, the one with the biggest stick still determines what is tolerable and what isn’t. There is no such thing as being completely tolerant. Everyone has a threshold of what they will tolerate, even those that preach tolerance. Everyone. All the tolerance in the world won’t solve the problem of sin. People will never act righteous on their own. Never!

The very thing tolerance is meant to accomplish, is the very thing it prevents us from accomplishing – allowing people to be and act differently. 

With that said, the most unloving thing we can do is tell someone they should continue doing more of whatever feels good to them regardless of what God thinks and says.

Why God’s Grace is the Solution

Only God’s grace has the power and ability to deal with sin. God’s grace is undeserved and unearned loving-kindness (hesed in Hebrew). “While we were still sinners…,” God did for us what we can’t do for ourselves which is reconcile our relationship with Him. Only the Creator has the authority and power to fix its creation. Only God provides a way to deal with sin through His sinless Son Jesus.

God created each human being differently. We are all one of a kind. Each and every life is uniquely designed and wonderfully made by God. And, with the life He has given each of us, He has provided instructions we can choose to follow or disregard. Historically speaking, every time we disregard His instruction humanity suffers greatly. Everytime we follow His instruction, we are blessed. That is what the prophetic books in the Old Testament are all about.

Tolerance Seems Similar to Grace

The concept of tolerance appears so similar to grace, but it’s extremely different. Tolerance says, “We got this!” God’s grace says, “You’re dreaming! But, I love you too much to not get it for you.” The source of which the solution comes from makes all the difference in the world on whether it will work or not. Instead of us saying, “I know what is best for myself.” We should say, “My Maker knows what is best for me.” Tolerance induces more independence, whereas grace induces more dependence.

We Must be Dependent on God’s Grace

A line has been drawn in the sand before the foundation of the world. Either you stand on the side of self-sufficiency or on the side of dependency on God. Those standing on both sides of the line are in a state of confusion. By straddling the fence, we can’t let go of being self-sufficient, but we know something is wrong with being self-sufficient because the world is still in a state of chaos. The rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-22 is the perfect example of how we can be a fence dweller, and fall short of experiencing God’s grace. God designed His creation to be dependent on Him as a loving Father, not independent as an orphan.

'Anytime I live by my own strength I am enslaved by sin.' - Frank SellsClick To Tweet

How to be Dependent on God’s Grace

It is hard to purge being self-sufficient since we are encouraged from infancy forward to be independent and self-sufficient. In Romans 7:14-25, Paul talks about the war between two natures. Our sin nature and the desire to do the will of God. God wants a fully surrendered heart. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul…” But, it surely pleases Him when we are moving in the right direction. (Matthew 17:20)

We may be totally self-sufficient or sitting on the fence, but we don’t have to remain there. God says, “Give it to Me. Lay your burdens on Me so that you are free to offer my grace to others as well.” Tolerance will not change the world, but God’s grace will. Seek to become more dependent versus independent. It is counter cultural, but it is the way God desires us to live. (Isaiah 55:8)