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17 Quotes About Christmas

#9: Giving Forgiveness and Tolerance

Paul Foslien, Senior Pastor, Living Word Family Church, Naples, FL

December 21, 2016

#9) “Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.” Oren Arnold

Christmas brings challenges to us all, but my greatest challenge is what to buy everyone for Christmas. Now, my wife loves receiving gifts because her primary love language is “gifts.” When she was little, her mother would never miss an occasion to shower my wife with gifts. It did not matter if it was a birthday, Valentines Day, Christmas, or any special event that would happen in her life. Because of this, I have to ask for gift suggestions to make sure I meet her love language and give something meaningful. In general, if you do not give me at least three or four options, you may end up with the exact opposite of what you wanted. While giving material gifts is meaningful and important, there are some gifts that surpass many others which our quote examines.

Let us take a moment and look at each of these “Christmas gift suggestions,” and if we can each give these gifts to people we meet every day, then this world will be a better place. Today, we will look at the first two.

Forgiveness: 
Forgiveness, or to forgive, means to treat as though the offense was not committed – to declare that we will not harbor malice or treat unkindly, but that the matter shall be buried and forgotten. In other terms, it means “to let go of one’s power, to let escape.” This is my favorite definition, “to let go of one’s power.”  When you choose to forgive a person completely and without reservation, you extend God’s love to them and remove any power they had over your emotions.

Tolerance:
Tolerance, or to be tolerant, means “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions, beliefs, and practices that differ from one’s own”.

Here is a great example from the Bible of God’s tolerance towards mankind:

1 Peter 3:20 NKJV “who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.”

God has always been tolerant and long-suffering towards individuals.  Noah preached righteousness for a hundred and twenty years and only eight made it on the ark.  God gives people time, more time than we deserve, to repent and change our ways, but do not wait too long to ask for forgiveness or to forgive! Similarly, we should choose to be tolerant of others, and choose to walk in love just as our Lord extends tolerance and mercy to us.

Merry Christmas,

Pastor Paul

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