It seems "tolerance" is the word of society today. Societal values, media talking heads and the political pressures of our day say, "You're either tolerant or intolerant. Good or evil. Evolved or not. Progressive or bigoted." People are labeled without further explanation. If you're associated with the wrong organization, faith, or you simply say some type of lives matter - you're labeled. You're either part of the party or you're looked at as a monster.
Not all tolerance is good, however.
So with a different twist, I ask my closest friends, "Please, don't tolerate certain actions and behaviors in my life!" Because as we make too many excuses, the bar of accountability continues to be lowered.
Here are the 5 things I don't want my friends to tolerate in me:
1. Being an Absent Dad. Shame on me if I put work or hobbies before my kids. My wife is a tremendous help to me here. She is a great mom and helps prevent me from being distracted from my mission to be a dad - and I get easily distracted. I need that input.
2. Being Unfaithful to My Wife. I pray someone knocks me across the head with a two-by-four if I ever make a poor decision with some other woman. Friends, you have my permission. Marriage is hard work but it's work worth investing in.
3. Being a Cheat in My Relationships. Apparently it's an art: being able to spin your way in to being a trustworthy person. Evil-minded people work to shame and embarrass good people every day. When there is money on the table, behavior changes. I had a season in my life where I was pretty good at the "spin." I don't ever want to be that person again.
4. Settling & Not Pursing My God-Given Purpose. The older I get, the clearer I see patterns in people's lives: those who seem to be living on purpose and those simply growing old. It emerges in the LifePlans I facilitate with individuals and the teams I work with in churches and businesses. In my own life, I hear the voice in my head saying, "Just pull back the throttle. Check-in it. Play golf. Relax. Stop caring so much..." I need people in my life to spur me on, challenge me to stretch, rest when needed, and then get back in the game.
5. Not Loving People. This world can be such a frustrating place. I can easily be a judge, missing the "plank in my own eye," and not genuinely love people. It's a simple command: "Love God, Love Others," but hard to live out. I may not agree with someone's actions, beliefs or politics, but I can still be a good listener, seek to understand, ask questions, and genuinely care for all people. It's far too easy to get dragged into the mud and become divisive. I say I love people, but sometimes I need help.
I need friends in my life to help keep me on that road. I don't want them to tolerate these actions in my life. I'm asking them to call me out!
The wrong kind of tolerance can lower the bar in your life. If we surround ourselves with "yes" friends, all our behaviors will be approved, winked at and celebrated. Even those that call for a two by four.
Are there things you don't want tolerated in your own life?