Be Slow to Anger and Quick to Listen
In disagreement and discord, we also follow Christ’s example of seeking peace, of being slow to anger and quick to listen. Additionally, concepts such as acceptance and tolerance—religious or otherwise—find significant support in the teachings of Jesus. These are important topics in contemporary life. Toleration of others is part of what was lost in the rise of secular morality, which coincided with an increase in negative attitudes toward Christian virtue in the academy and government. The fact that Christians are regularly thought to be close-minded, dogmatic, and intolerant is certainly justified in some cases. Yet this attitude is also highly ironic since the very tradition of tolerance in the Western context is accentuated in the Christocentric worldview. Just a simple count of the tolerant societies in the world today gives some clue as to the power of the applied moral teachings of Christ and their benefit to the world. If self-professed Christians are being aggressively and consistently intolerant, they are certainly not emulating the example of Christ or the traditions and teachings of Christianity. Much trouble and confusion about these matters can often be attributed simply to mislabeling. “Christians” are often not Christlike. However, this lamentable fact should not impugn Jesus or his teaching on tolerance.
From The Divine Conspiracy Continued: Fulfilling God’s Kingdom on Earth. Copyright © 2014 by Dallas Willard amd Gary Black Jr. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.