Home > Crossway Blog > The Difference Between Tolerance and Love

The Difference Between Tolerance and Love

We are not merely called to tolerate those who disagree with us; we are called to love. The world’s idea of tolerance is a parody of the Christian understanding of love.

Tolerance is passive. Love is active. Tolerance is a feeling of apathy. Love is accompanied by feelings of great affection. Tolerance keeps people at arm’s length in hopes of not offending them. Love embraces people where they are and ‘hopes all things.’ Tolerance leaves people alone as individuals. Love ushers people into a community of generosity. Tolerance keeps a safe distance between those in need. Love rolls up its sleeves in service even to those who may be unlikeable. Tolerance avoids confrontation in order to maintain ‘peace.’ Love tells the truth boldly and graciously in order to bring about a deeper, more lasting peace.”

Excerpt from Holy Subversion (pp 145-146)

January 20, 2010 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:01 am | (5) Comments »


  1. Excellent! this is exactly the point! love isn’t tolerance. Great quote.

    Comment by keller hackbusch — January 21, 2010 @ 10:01 am

  2. The ramification of not loving and only going so far as to tolerate, can be extremely detrimental to the one that truly needs the love as opposed to the tolerance, as it very well may have an eternal effect.

    Comment by Valerie — February 1, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

  3. …word up, mommasita!!! ;0)

    Comment by TandA — February 1, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

  4. [...] http://www.crossway.org/blog/2010/01/the-difference-between-tolerance-and-love/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Leave a [...]

    Pingback by The Difference Between Tolerance and Love | Missio Dei — March 28, 2013 @ 10:05 am

  5. Tolerance whilst not being love is a sign of love. It is true love is greater than tolerance but love contains tolerance. And in many instances the toleration of differences is about all one can achieve in human terms, one would not expect unanimity between opposing extremists, but one may achieve a certain amount of tolerance. So tolerance is an active part of love.

    Comment by Bernie — April 7, 2013 @ 11:56 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a Comment