This is My Crowd

This is My Crowd
Picture by: Photography by Vicky Campos

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Thursday, June 9, 2011


As I was driving this afternoon, I saw one of the COEXIST bumper stickers like the one above. It made me think of the term tolerance and the fact that in the world we currently live, we are all pressured to tolerate others. I know that those words mean different things to different people, so I won't even bother to go into specifics. That being said, with the amount of hatred in this world, it seems like a concept that we should all embrace. But is it?

Jesus did not say tolerate your neighbor... He instructed us to love them.

Tolerate could be defined as:

1. Allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference.
2. Accept or endure (someone or something unpleasant or disliked) with forbearance.

Coexist could be defined as:
1. Exist at the same time or in the same place.

2. (of nations or peoples) Exist in mutual tolerance despite different ideologies or interests.

Coexistence and Tolerance seem like good ideas. They are certainly a great alternative to war. But, this world is a living organism that requires the interaction of its inhabitants! To simply coexist is to remain uninvolved. Tolerance and Coexistence are inactive verbs. JUST DO NOTHING. Apathy. I could coexist with and tolerate hurting people, broken people, homeless people, lost people, hungry people, sad people, abused people, abusive people, and the list could go on and on, but would that make this a better world?

Love (as Jesus used it) could be defined as:

Selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications (especially love that is spiritual in nature).

I also found the following:

Agape love is unconditional love. It is love by "choice" even if you are not pleased.

1 Corinthians 13 (New Living Translation) says it this way:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Love seems to be a better answer to hate than tolerance. I know that I would rather be loved than tolerated.

So, in a world filled with tolerance, let us love. For in the face of love, tolerance is a bitter way to live life. Tolerance does not beget generosity or forgiveness, but selfishness and a disagreeable spirit. Tolerance does not create understanding or compassion, but separation and indifference. Tolerance is a sad and cold replacement for Love.

So, let us Love!

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