The word 'intolerance' has become synonymous with hate and no wonder. Unspeakable crimes against humanity have been committed as the result of it. But I believe there is another side to intolerance.
What many people don't know is my mom was intolerant; she refused to put up with backtalk. As a result, our home was free of the parental disrespect that has become so commonplace today.
My friend, Sharon Rohrbach, was also intolerant. She couldn't sleep at night thinking about the babies being discharged to homes that weren't equipped to care for them. Sharon's intolerance led her to start Nurses for Newborns, a foundation dedicated to protecting some of our most vulnerable citizens.
American women were also intolerant. They couldn't abide the injustice of the denial of their right to vote. Many of our foremothers worked tirelessly to gain suffrage.
I'm thankful for my mom's intolerance that taught me to respect authority, for Sharon's intolerance which taught me to be concerned for at-risk newborns, and for a heritage of women's intolerance that gave me the right to vote.
But I am most thankful for our intolerant God. While it is true that He could not ignore our sin, it is also true that He could not tolerate the consequence of that sin–our eternal separation from Him.
What is the difference between this kind of intolerance and the kind that gets all the press today? The former is motivated by love.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life. (John 3:16)