‘God shows no partiality.’ Acts 10:34 NKJV
Tolerance is not just about agreeing to embrace our differences. It’s about accepting the other person’s right to believe as they wish, and to behave according to those beliefs. One of the great tests of spiritual maturity is our willingness to love and pray for those whose beliefs and behaviours are unacceptable to us. Instead of condemning people who err, we should see them the same way we see a blind man walking towards a cliff’s edge. Our reaction should not be to condemn him, but to have compassion and try to show him a safer route.
Now let’s be clear: compassion is not compromise—any more than we could accuse God, Who loves sinners and hates sin, of compromise. Why don’t we just emulate our heavenly Father? In the first century Jews looked down on Gentiles and referred to them as ‘dogs’ (see Matthew 15:26–28). But Jesus came and redeemed those ‘dogs’ and turned them into disciples. When Cornelius the Gentile summoned Peter the Jew to his home, Peter was reluctant to go.
He explained, ‘You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.’ (Acts 10:28 NKJV) God was uprooting embedded traditions and opening up new opportunities for the gospel. Peter continued, ‘In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.’ (Acts 10:34–35 NKJV)
Could it be that God wants to expand the borders of your mind for His glory? If you’re open to it, He will bless you.
SoulFood: 2 Sam 12:1–14:20, Matt 26:1–13, Ps 118:19–29, Prov 18:10–12
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2017
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