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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Totally Tolerating Transgressions

If we ever wish to experience a miracle of God’s grace it’s easily manufactured. Nothing is more miraculous than the toleration of a transgression—especially in our dog-eat-dog world.

Very few people expect the extension of grace toward them, and much less when they’re in the mode of attack against us—which is so often a fear response.

As we take these fear responses—the attacks upon our mind, body and soul—and allow them to hang without counter-attack, we, by God’s miraculous grace, convert them into testimonies for later unification. Truth be told, most people are gobsmacked to find there’s no counter-attack. And their responses are strange. Our response of tolerating their fear-based attack often gives them something to reflect on. And our observation of this gives us something to think on, too.

Experiences Of Toleration Teach Us

Toleration within attack is a comparatively rare response. We hardly think in the spur of the moment to do nothing, and let our response hang upon further enquiry. So, just the fact of not responding is a miracle of itself. Yet, at one level, could there be anything easier than doing nothing? But to resist an attack by counter-attack is our unfortunate general default—a thing to unlearn.

We can learn a better way. Even just one experience of not counter-attacking can teach us so much about human nature, and about the power of wresting control by doing nothing.

We see, here, that when we resist the counter-attack, absorbing their hurts toward us, and not even counter-attacking within our minds, we’ve facilitated room for the Lord to embellish grace in the space between them and us. A godly power is made known. The agenda for aggression is converted in an instant to an agenda for reflection and the possibility for harmony.

When There’s No War At All

It’s only the enemy that wants us to think the world is full of conflict. We’re only affected negatively by conflict in our world when we live it. Otherwise, observations of conflict intuit a perspective of empathy within us. And we see so much more, including many threads of humanity, than conflict.

And there ought to be empathy present in situations where conflict abounds, for many people do not know why they fight, why they experience aggression, or why they hate. Only the love of Christ brings forth the truth in unobtrusive and bounteous ways. Only where love is presented in an entirely uncompetitive context will people see it for what it is—a cosmic game-changer.

A vital truth is this: the war, if ever there was one, exists more between our ears and between our minds and hearts than anywhere else. When we win the victory over ourselves, and over our climbing will to attack and counter-attack, we may understand that attacking behaviour comes, mostly, from disharmony within.


The power of love defeats the power of attack. When we tolerate transgressions miraculous things can occur. The space between us and them is transformed; aggression makes way for reflection. Many incalculable things of miraculous grace occur within toleration.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

As always, there should be, on this subject, a caveat: where the constancy of abuse or neglect is apparent, toleration may serve no good purpose.

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