“Being a kind, emperor, or president is mighty small potatoes compared to being a mother. Commanding an army is little more than sweeping a street compared with training a boy or girl. The mother of Moses did more for the world than all the kinds that Egypt ever had. Oh, you wait until you reach the mountains of eternity, then read the mothers’ names in God’s Hall of Fame.” ― Billy Sunday
“We spare neither labors nor means in order to teach our children secular sciences, so that they can serve well the earthly authorities. Only the knowledge of the holy Faith, the service of the Heavenly King are a matter of indifference to us. We allow them to attend spectacles but we care little whether they go to Church and stand within it reverently. We demand an account from them of what they learned in their secular institutes—why do we not demand an account from them of what they heard in the Lord’s house?” (St. John Chrysostom)
Never get fooled that tolerance is the only thing to have when dealing with others, especially those who hate you and your faith in Christ. You also need prudence. One also needs to be alert. Most of all, your tolerance must be as per God’s will which includes prudence and vigilance and not as per man’s opinions. Blind tolerance is nothing less than foolishness. To be wise in your tolerance, you need to read the Bible for this and not just a few verses, you need to take the whole Bible into perspective.
Some people are overzealous about; Judge not, that you be not judged (Matthew 7:1). These behave that this is the only verse they ought to follow. I’ve already written an article about this (click here to view it) in order to let such people get the right idea of ‘judge not’, so I won’t elaborate too much on this.
The Bible tells us to be vigilant:
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12)
Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children (Deuteronomy 4:9).
It also reminds us to be prudent:
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. (Proverbs 22:3)
But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known. (Matthew 12:14-16)
Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. (Matthew 7:6)
We also need to discern:
Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.(Proverbs 14:7)
He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.(Proverbs 17:15)
There are things we are not to tolerate:
But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20)
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. (Romans 16:17)
Our tolerance towards others must not mean that we compromise on vigilance, prudence nor discernment. We are not called to tolerate each and everything. One needs to have a balanced view of the Bible in all things.
Some might say, ‘we are to turn the other cheek’ and to them I say ‘do not put the Lord your God to the test’. If you are to choose between life and Christ, its best to take Christ for yourself. But don’t deliberately put yourself or your loved ones in a situation where doesn’t know how to deal with danger. Not every time this is case of getting tempted to leave Christ. And not everyone out in the world is a criminal. But some are indeed evil! So we must go by the facts and not ignore them. If a leopard has attacked many cattle, don’t assume it’ll be tame towards you because it never killed a human before. You don’t give it to act first to make a decision but instead you first make sure you keep a safe distance from the wild cat or be out of sight.
In the same way, if you know that there are people with a history of violence, you don’t try to play ‘nice’. Instead you keep a safe distance from them. I’m not talking about only terrorists. This is about thugs and murderers too. Also, warn your children and loved ones to know whom to get near and whom to keep away from.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22: 6)
Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare. (Proverbs 22:24-25)
Whoever plans to do evil will be called a schemer. The devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind. (Proverbs 24: 8-9)
Never get too happy when you see evil doers go down in life. Such rejoicing must be avoided. Be sober because it’s the Lord God fighting them. And the Lord can use angels, animals and even humans to do his work of justice.
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him. (Proverbs 24: 17-18)
You might find my opinion a bit odd, but at times when I came know of so and so sinners, even terrorists who died when being confronted by workers of justice, I felt bad that such souls have not accepted the Gospel and not repented and so are not going to heaven. For a few seconds I tried to imagine that if they accepted the Lord Jesus much earlier in life, how much damage and death to others could have been avoided in the first place.
Then reality set in, I viewed the new reports again and I realized there were innocent people, even innocent kids who got killed by these evil doers. So Divine justice already had to tackle the murderers on earth itself before giving them their due punishment in hell. So if even if you hear of such workers of iniquity getting harmed or killed, do not rejoice but rather pray for the victims of their crimes and also for the victims families. Don’t pray for the wicked who have died in battle, since there is no hope for them.
Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out. (Proverbs 24: 19-20)
Verses for reflection:
To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ (Revelation 2: 1-7)
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. (Matthew 19:13-15)
Never ever be a legalistic person in trying to restrict children from coming to Christ. Because Jesus does not restrict himself to only the grown ups. He is there for the kids too. If a child wants to read the Bible or sing praises to God then you might as well encourage such things. There is nothing in the Bible that says to discourage kids from trying to learn about Jesus our Lord.
Deuteronomy 11:18-19 says this about teaching children the word of God; “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
No wonder, when a child wants to know about Jesus Christ do not give excuses saying that they are not come of age. Don’t delay their walk into the church services. Just think, how come the Evil One doesn’t bother about the age of children? He won’t hesitate to let children learn obscene language at school. He will try to make them focus too much on the TV instead of studies. So why make the Devil have a field day tempting children via the various deceptions of the world while you wait till the kids are grown up? Be a real soldier for Christ and cut off the plans of the Devil for your children. Teach your child about the Gospel. Teach them to be alert and prayerful. Most importantly teach them everything about Jesus Christ and his saving power.
I remember a preacher saying, ‘Christian youth are not the future, they are the present’. This couldn’t be more true. Why wait for Christian kids or youth to cross like 35-40 years to be zealous for God and so work for him? Instead you can always encourage them to do whatever little thing they can for the glory of God. Like singing in the choir, making Christian art work and poems, praying if they hear of someone in need etc. There’s always something good a child can do. All they need is the right direction and encouragement. This can happen best when they are aware of the grace and salvation that comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. Never let them be denied this.
Christ be with you!