Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Monday, August 20, 2012

Please don't tolerate this blog

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

I am a word guy.

There are words that I like, words that I do not like, and words that I flat make up to describe something when I cannot think of a word that already exists.

The other day Laurie and I were at a friend’s house, she was throwing a summer party. She has some acreage, and on the acreage is a pond that has fish in it. She also has a zip line that starts on a platform up the hill from the pond. The zip line goes over the pond and ends on the far bank; it is really fun. One of the people at the party asked another person if she would go on the zip line. The other person said, “No, I have vertigo and am afraid that I would fall off.” I looked at her and said, “If you get vertigo on the zip line, and fall off, I guess you would be vertigone.”

Everybody had a good laugh.

I was talking with a member the other day and the word tolerance came up. The member said, “We need to show more tolerance to others.”

I have a hard time with the word “tolerance.”

Tolerance, as good as it sounds on the surface, comes from the root “Tolerate.”

To tolerate something suggests that one is annoyed or upset by someone or something; yet is not upset enough to actually do anything about it.

To tolerate is to “put up with.”

To tolerate is to “ignore another’s action.”

To tolerate suggests that at the current level of annoyance I do not need to respond; however, if the annoyance grows or becomes “more annoying” I will be forced to act.

When I think about tolerance I get annoyed, I wonder how long I will tolerate, tolerance?

I was thinking about tolerance the other day.

I thought, “What would the Gospel look like if I changed the word “Grace” to “tolerance?”

So I did.

I went through the New Testament, found the scriptures that had “Grace” in them and changed “Grace” to “tolerance.”

This is so not the Good News!

A few of the passages:

And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the tolerance of God was upon him. Luke 2:40

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of tolerance and truth. John 1:14

From the fullness of his tolerance we have all received one blessing after another. John1:16


For the law was given through Moses; tolerance and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17

I was on a roll and thought, What would the song “Amazing Grace” look like if I changed “Grace” to “tolerance?”

Amazing tolerance, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T'was tolerance that taught...
my heart to fear.
And tolerance, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was tolerance that brought us safe thus far...
and tolerance will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.

When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.

Amazing tolerance, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see

Sure seems to lose its magic, doesn’t it.

I sat in church Sunday crying, I began crying when “Amazing Grace” started to be sung.

I was especially struck by it because of my thoughts of, “What if God had only extended tolerance instead of Grace?”

I am so glad the He loves us enough to extend Grace and not merely tolerate us.
Here is the Good News:

Those same passages:

And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. Luke 2:40

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John1:14

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. John 1:16

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John1:17

Amazing Grace as it truly is:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.

When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see

I began to think, if God has extended Grace to me and Christ calls us to be Christ-like then I must extend Grace as well.

Blessings,

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