image.Meriam-Webster defines tolerate as

  • to allow (something that is bad, unpleasant, etc.) to exist, happen, or be done
  • to put up with

Here are a few examples of how the word is used:

  • Filipinos tolerate tardiness because “Filipino time” is here to stay.
  • Traffic enforcers tolerate violation of rules by motorcycle drivers.
  • The electorate tolerates vote-buying during elections.
  • National leaders tolerate bribery in almost all government projects.
  • Domestic helpers abroad often tolerate the verbal and physical abuse they receive from their employers.
  • The large majority give the impression that they tolerate violence by keeping silent.

Sometimes toleration can be regarded as a virtue. However, I would like you to consider this fearful possibility: you become what you tolerate. In other words, you are transformed by the bad or unpleasant that you allow to exist or happen.

  • When you tolerate tardiness, you also tend to become tardy.
  • When you tolerate violation of traffic rules, you usually end up becoming a traffic-rule breaker yourself.
  • When you tolerate vote-buying, you become “mukhang pera” or greedy.
  • When you tolerate bribery, you yourself become corrupt.
  • When you tolerate abuse, you may become just as callous, unjust and cruel as your abuser.
  • When you tolerate violence, you become a tacit supporter of violence.

God does not want us to be shaped simply by what we tolerate. Instead, he commands us to be intentional in what we do and who we become:

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬).

You cannot be habitually tardy in Jesus’ name. You cannot be an intentional law-breaker in Jesus’ name. You cannot be greedy, corrupt, callous, unjust, cruel or violent in Jesus’ name. Become who Jesus wants you to be instead of ending up like what and/or who you tolerate.

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