The Most Dangerous Word
I think the most dangerous word right now is tolerance. Not because the true definition of the word is bad, but because our culture is redefining the word. In fact, tolerance is the new love. It is much more acceptable to be considered tolerant than it is to be considered loving.
Our culture says we should tolerate others “no matter what”. This is actually a very selfish position because it means you have no risk of rejection with anyone doing anything crazy (go ahead and do that if you want to because I am tolerant). Love on the other hand is a very risky thing, because when you love someone you are willing to risk the relationship by telling them they are on a dangerous course.
Here is how you can test this out:
Should you tolerate your child, or should you love them?
Should you tolerate your spouse, or should you love them?
Should you tolerate your friend, or should you love them?
Should you tolerate your neighbor, or should you love them?
Tolerance taken to the end means that you look the other way when a friend does drugs. Love means you risk a relationship in order to warn them about the danger of drugs.
True love loves the unlovely. (think Mother Teresa)
People who make tolerance their guiding value can not tolerate those who are intolerant to their views. (think anyone who calls you intolerant for not accepting their view yet claims everyone’s own view is true to them and should be accepted)
Bottom line, we should tolerate people with different views, but it shouldn’t stop us from disagreeing with them or trying to win them over to our view, or loving them enough to warn them. Tolerance taken too far gives us permission not to care what happens to them.