Tolerance and Deference

Tolerance lies in the realm of longsuffering.  Longsuffering is close kin to deference.

Deference?   What is that?

It is a character quality that seems to have disappeared in our American culture.

My dictionary defines deference as:  respectful submission or yielding to the judgment or opinion of another; respectful or courteous regard.

The Bible describes such character of deference as “. . . in honor preferring one another. . .” in Romans 12:10.

I see very little of that going on in our political and news reporting arena.  Maybe the figure of speech, “dog eat dog” would be closer to describing politics.  It is ugly.

In my state, Indiana, we have a man running for governor who is doing his best to not engage in dirty politics.  His name is Mike Pence.  I have a yard sign ready to put out in my yard whenever we are allowed to publicize our persuasions.  I might add, I am happy to support Mike Pence because he is decent.

Tolerance is a buzz word of the “left.”  I can hardly think of anyone LESS tolerant than those who immediately find fault with those who express the Bible.

You know what?  In light of intolerance of opposition, it is still best to smile and show deference.  Do we need to agree?  No.  We should show respect.  Just because they lack the character to show deference does not give me license to act the same as they are acting. I might even hope to eat a Chick-fil-A sandwich in peace next week.

As I feel the gaze of the Shepherd’s eyes guiding me, yes, I will show deference even if I have to disagree.  My dad often said, “We can agree to disagree and not be disagreeable.”  My farmer-daddy with the seventh grade education—he had it right!

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1 Comment

  1. Glenda

    Your dear dad might have lacked “book-larnin’,” but he had wisdom, which is a far greater gift! Yes, it amazes me how the folks who want others to be tolerant of their views and lifestyles can be so intolerant of the Christian point of view. One of my Facebook friends, who is a gay man, posted a long tirade the other night, denouncing CFA and announcing that he would never eat there again. Where’s the tolerance there? That’s why I was happy to post a status from a friend in CA yesterday, from one of her gay co-workers. He had a good attitude about the whole thing.

    We also have a political race here that has become ugly. It started out on great terms, with each showing respect for the other, but at some point, they decided to attack each other, and now I have little respect for either of them. One already had the endorsement of Gov. Huckabee, which was good enough for me; the other has a widely-known name in these parts (Mayfield), and I see nothing that will be accomplished by their derogatory remarks for each other. Of course, I’ll vote for one of them, because they still stand for the beliefs that I hold dear, but I was very disappointed when I started seeing the negative ads. Yes, God expects us to respect one another, even if we don’t agree with them. How else can we ever hope to reach them with the Gospel?

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