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What Are You Tolerating?

By Allison Bonilla LCSW

The word “intolerance” is generally used in negative ways. We are encouraged to be more

tolerant of others and be more accepting. This acceptance is touted as a way to be kinder and gentler and more loving. But what if being intolerant is actually how we should be?

As I have gotten older I have discovered some areas of intolerance that have been painful at

worse and inconvenient at best. Let me explain.

The painful intolerance has to do with milk. Milk has never been my enemy. I love a good cold glass of milk with chocolate cake or brownies. Recently, though, I can no longer drink milk without enduring some extremely painful side effects. I have become lactose intolerant. Now, this is both painful and inconvenient. I now have to be vigilant about foods and milk products. I have to check to see if they are lactose-free.

What else have I become intolerant about? Well, I have discovered a lack of enjoyment for

“mature” entertainment. There was a time when the “MA” label on a Hulu or Netflix movie or series would be noted but rationalized if the plot or actors were engaging enough. I would sit through the profanity, the nudity the violence and just accept it as the price of being entertained.

I found myself watching “Queen of the South” at a friend’s home recently. This was not a show that I personally followed, but they did and I decided to sit with them and watch it. As I watched there was danger, intrigue, and good suspense as I waited to see if the character would be able to get out of her situation alive (being the main character, of course, she would). I was drawn in!

In another episode there were quite a lot of mature themes and I found myself asking, was I that much invested in this show that I was now willing to swim in a cesspool of filthy language and sexual activity to continue to enjoy the show? I felt the intolerance building painfully. I couldn’t stay in the room and watch the show with my friend. I left. Since that time I have experienced a similar reaction to “MA” rated shows. I have developed intolerance for sexually explicit images, inappropriate language, and violence especially if it involves the vulnerable or children.

My heart cannot process it when perversity enters into my spirit by way of my eyes and my ears just as my body cannot process lactose when it enters my body through my mouth.

This has been a good thing, though at times I still miss being able to watch anything without

much thought.

And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life

with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire. (ESV) Matt 18:9

So the next time someone tells you that tolerance is the goal and intolerance is bad, stop and think, “Am I tolerant of things I should be intolerant of?” If you are like me and many others you have built up tolerances that should be destroyed. If we are Christians and say we want to live in a way that glorifies God we need to be intolerant of the things He was intolerant of.

Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. (NIV) Proverbs 4:23


About the Author:

Allison Bonilla is a Professional Life Strategist, Psychotherapist, Writer, Bible Study Leader, Speaker, and Consultant. A Christian Counselor in private practice for over 25 years, she along with her husband of 36 yrs raised 5 children. Through their non-profit Building A Caring Community, Inc., she directed a mentoring program for over 10 years, ran the Women Online Bible Study for 3 years, and did workshops internationally as well as locally as a professional Life Strategist. Through coaching, Allison passionately builds up women so that they can, with spiritual as well as emotional health, achieve professional success while balancing the many demands put on them.

1 comentario

This is a great perspective on tolerance. So true.

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