Tolerance is a concept the Bible frequently touches on as a key component of the Christian faith, despite not naming it explicitly. Rooted in the principles of love, respect and understanding, tolerance defines the ideal interpersonal dynamics within the family of the faithful as well as between believers and non-believers. The Bible acknowledges the diverse perspectives, feelings, behaviors and attitudes inherent in human interactions, and through the teachings of tolerance, offers guidance for navigating and managing conflicts in a harmonious manner.
What is Tolerance According to the Bible?
The Bible teaches tolerance through a multitude of verses and stories that promote patience, forgiveness, acceptance, and love. Tolerance, in biblical terms, signifies acceptance of different beliefs, cultures, or practices without an attitude of superiority and the ability to treat everyone as equal despite differences. It’s about showing everyone the love that Jesus showed to all mankind. Through various teachings, the Bible encourages us to practice tolerance by respecting others’ right to have differing opinions, demonstrating patience when disagreement arises, and freely expressing love and fairness towards everyone.
Why is Tolerance Important in Christianity?
Tolerance is essential in Christianity as it reflects Christ’s teachings and his example of love, acceptance, and understanding. It maintains harmony and unity within communities and supports peaceful coexistence. Tolerance fosters forgiveness, stifles resentment, and enables Christians to extend love and understanding even toward those with opposing beliefs. Furthermore, it equips Christians with the ability to handle disagreements, differing views, and conflict, ultimately promoting a more peaceful and loving world. It paves the way for conversations about faith, allowing an open and respectful exchange of beliefs and ideas.
How Does the Bible Teach Tolerance?
The Bible teaches tolerance through various accounts where Jesus and his disciples show love, kindness, and understanding towards individuals regardless of their race, religion, or status. There are many instances where Jesus extends love and forgiveness to those who offend him, allowing for reconciliation and restitution. Parables such as the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son not only celebrate forgiveness, but they also encourage understanding and acceptance of others, themes synonymous with tolerance. The Apostle Paul, too, expounds on the virtue of tolerance, emphasizing love’s long-suffering nature, its kindness and its absence of envy.
When Should Christians Exercise Tolerance?
Christians are called to exercise tolerance consistently in their day-to-day lives. The Bible encourages Christians to be tolerant not only with those in their immediate circles but with everyone they interact with, whether fellow believers or not. This includes moments of disagreements, misunderstandings, or conflicts where there’s a uniform call to express love, compassion, forgiveness, and understanding. Tolerance is expected during challenging times, where patients is tried, and in everyday interactions. The teachings of the Bible illuminate that tolerance should be woven into all aspects of Christian living.
Who Benefits from Biblical Tolerance?
In essence, everyone benefits from the practice of biblical tolerance. It promotes mutual respect, understanding, and peace, affecting the person practicing tolerance and the recipient alike. The one showing tolerance experiences spiritual growth while fostering peace and harmony in their interactions. On the other hand, recipients of intolerance benefit from being treated with love, understanding, and respect, which can foster personal growth, reconciliation, and strengthen relationships. Societies as a whole also benefit, as tolerance fosters a community of peace, understanding, and a culture of reciprocal respect.
Below is the full list of bible verses on tolerance (King James Version – KJV). The list is ranked in order of popularity and we hope you find the inspiration you need.
Most Popular Bible Verses About Tolerance
2 Timothy 4:1-2
“1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
“2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;”
1 Corinthians 5:11
“11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”
2 John 1:10-11
“10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”
“1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”
“7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
“6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.”
“28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”
Related Themes: Abomination
“1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.”
1 Peter 3:8-11
“8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.”
“15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.”
1 Peter 3:15
“15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
“14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”
“24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
1 Timothy 6:3-5
“3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”
“17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”
“30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
“2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:”
“44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
“14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”
“47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.”
2 Timothy 2:22-26
“22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
1 Corinthians 6:1-4
“1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.”
“22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.”
“165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”
“36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”
“16 A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.”
“22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:”
“21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:22 For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.”
“16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.”