Give Yourself Grace, Not Tolerance

Give Yourself Grace

So you failed today. Maybe you lost your temper. Maybe you blew your diet. Maybe you procrastinated for a while and left your to-do list virtually unchanged.

To get back up, you’ve got to forgive yourself. But make sure you do that in the right way.

Give yourself grace – not tolerance.

Grace Says; Tolerance Says

Grace says you’ve failed, and that’s horrible. But you’re forgiven.
Tolerance says you’ve failed, and it’s no big deal. So you don’t really need forgiveness.

Grace makes you love God’s character.
Tolerance makes you question his standards.

Grace empowers you to fight the good fight again tomorrow.
Tolerance ultimately weakens your willpower.

Grace was purchased on the cross, making the burden of sin seem great.
Tolerance is acquired when you deceive yourself on the severity of your sin.

Grace recruits God to your cause by keeping you humble.
Tolerance keeps you prideful and aligns God against you.

Grace helps you get over the earthly consequences of wasted time.
Tolerance will never take away the sting of wondering “what could have been.”

Grace reminds you that God sees the righteousness of Christ when he looks at you, giving you approval and significance.
Tolerance keeps you locked in to earning approval by staying on the world’s treadmill.

Do This Right!

We definitely need to learn how to get up and keep going. We as Christians should be able to forgive ourselves better than anyone else!

But don’t give yourself tolerance. That’s a dangerous trap.

Make sure that forgiving yourself comes in the form of true grace.

Photo Credit: Ross Griff (Creative Commons)

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  • Forgiveness flows from God to us. Ourselves to ourselves. And then us to others. For if we can’t show love and grace inward, then we can’t give it away lavishly, authentically to others.

    Super post!

    • Yes, “forgiving ourselves” is really about us accepting and embracing Christ’s forgiveness of us. Without truly grasping that, it’s hard to live that out. Great point.

  • What a great post, Loren! I love this list of the difference between grace and tolerance.

    • It’s a distinction I think many don’t make. And I think it’s an important one.

  • Excellent thoughts. It seems like we often excuse the sin in ourselves (tolerance), and at the same time, manage to find fault in others’ sin. When we commit habitual sin, it’s as you mention here – we are giving ourselves tolerance instead of grace. Instead, grace leads us to align our hearts with the heart of Jesus.

    • Strange as it seems, the best way to be loving to ourselves and to others is not to be tolerant. Just to be grace-filled.

  • Amen Loren. Tolerance also blames others and accepts victimization for things that should receive grace, humility, and another good fight tomorrow!

    • That’s another great point. It takes away a lot of personal accountability. Excellent addition, Deb!

  • Hi Loren! I love this difference that you point out. I never really saw it that way before. Too much tolerance, and I’ll just think I can give up. Grace will be the power to help me overcome and start again.
    Brilliant! Thanks my friend 🙂

    • I think people confuse the two, and then they end up treating themselves and others in a way they shouldn’t. Sin should never be excused, but grace should answer sin.

  • Lea

    Great comparison between grace and tolerance. You clearly illustrate how grace can help you move on from the setback yet motivate you to take the needed step forward. It’s amazing how you can get sucked into the tolerance cycle initally thinking that it’s the think to do.


    • Exactly. People apply tolerance with good intentions – but things don’t work out that way.

  • Important topic Loren, We also have a tendency to keep beating ourselves over those things we have repented over. – God has forgiven us so we now need to show ourselves the same grace. –

    • Regret is an issue that can weigh us down so much!

  • As others have already said, great way to compare tolerance and grace. A thought struck me as I read this… somewhere in there lies the abuse and cheapening of grace too. This is the idea that I can do whatever knowing God will forgive me. I see tolerance in that but also the truth of what grace is too. Thoughts?

    • Hmmm…great question.
      I think grace doesn’t lower God’s standards, tolerance does. So even though we can receive grace again and again, I think the sting of our sin never gets dull – or at least it shouldn’t. It does, however, with tolerance.
      What do you think?

      • Several years ago, a friend of mine decided to leave her husband and said to me, “I know it’s wrong, but I know God will forgive me.” Since that day, I realized how we can deliberately cheapen His grace. It was eye-opening for me. This isn’t exactly tolerating sin, when we fully know what we’re doing is wrong, but it’s kind of using God’s grace as a free pass. It seems to me that it’s more a tolerating of our human state and an unwillingness to be transformed by His Holy Spirit.

  • I love that idea of forgiving yourself. In fact that’s been one of my goals over the past few years. When something goes bad, it’s easy to be hard on yourself. That’s especially true for me. I’m really hard on myself at times. But it’s important to just forgive what happens and move one. I’d rather do that then get stuck in the past.

    • Realizing the grace that’s been extended to us can help us get back on the horse and keep going. In fact, I’ve found that to be essential.

  • Powerful word here, we have to hate sin but give our self grace for when we fall.

  • I love these comparisons of grace and tolerance, many of them I haven’t thought of that way before. I love the idea of grace recruiting God to your side.

  • Love the way you showed the difference between grace and tolerance. Good work brother. Thanks.

  • Love this part, “Grace makes you love God’s character.

    Tolerance makes you question his standards.”

    So many atheists I know (if they are willing to postulate the possibility of God) question the goodness and character of God. They don’t understand Him or His grace. Sadly, many Christians don’t understand Him or His grace either.

    • When we come at the situation from the standpoint that we’re alright the way we are then it’s only natural to doubt God’s goodness and standards.

  • Awesome comparison! Good stuff, Loren. I’ll remember this.