FROM “TOLERANCE” TO ACCEPTANCE
“We who are strong ought to bear/tolerate (βαστάζειν) the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor… May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept/receive (προσλαμβάνεσθε) one another, therefore, just as Christ has accepted you, for the glory of God.” (Rom 15: 1-2, 5-7)
So in this passage the Apostle calls us, first, to “bear” or tolerate (from the Latin “tolerare,” meaning “to bear, endure”), but then he goes on to ask us to do even more: He says, “accept” one another, just as Christ accepted us, all of us, having “tolerated” or “carried” our entire humanity and its sins.
Today let me not only “bear” others, as a burden, but also and more so "accept" them, as a gift, “for the good purpose of building up” the other, whoever he or she may be throughout my day. Let me embrace the “good purpose” today, which the Apostle spells out for me: “so that we may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen!